Olympics | Rugby | SPORTS

Simple Habits Will Save Lives: Viriviri

Olympian celebrates birthday with frontline workmates
28 Apr 2021 11:18
Simple Habits Will Save Lives: Viriviri
Police Constable Samisoni Viriviri at the Momi junction checkpoint, Nadi, on April 25, 2021. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Serving people in the commu­nity is what our Olympic Games gold medallist Sam­isoni Viriviri cherishes.

He was a member of our Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens team that won the country’s first Olympic Games gold medal in 2016.

Viriviri was coach Ben Ryan’s secret weapon in the final against Great Britain at the Deodoro Sta­dium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Dratabu native from Nadi was switched to rover and exploited gaps in the opposition defence to set-up the early tries that took the fight out of the Brits.

Not only that, Viriviri was also the first Fijian player to be named the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in 2014.

It was his humble attitude and re­spect for authority that allowed the Fiji Police Force to release him for a contract in France and take him in when he returned.

Last Sunday, Viriviri celebrated his 33rd birthday with workmates while on frontline duty.

Based at the Nadi Police Station, he was posted to the Momi Bay junction which is the border of the containment area.

Viriviri told SUNsports since he had put on his Police uniform, reaching out to people in the com­munity had been his priority.

“To be part of the Government team at Momi has been a challeng­ing time,” he said.

“The focus at this moment is to try and help contain the spread of COVID-19.

“For that to happen I’ve put all my rugby plans on hold.”

Viriviri is calling all Fijians to as­sist the authorities by practising good hygiene.

“Wear mask and gloves, sanitise your hands and maintain social distancing at all times.

“These are simple habits which will save lives,” he said.

This year, Viriviri has been a crucial member of the Police Blue rugby 7s team that are currently leading the Fiji Rugby Union’s Su­per Sevens Series points standing.

The Police Blue side have won all the three tournaments and are waiting for the final tournament to be staged in Lautoka, next month.

Viriviri started his rugby career by playing in the local 7s competi­tion.

Viriviri chased a dream borne out of the stories of his grandfather and namesake who was part of the legendary 1977 Fijian XVs side that beat the British Lions in Suva.

Viriviri Snr later coached Nadi and the national rugby team to the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

At 19, while attending Nadi Col­lege, Viriviri played club rugby for Dratabu in the Nadi Rugby Union club competition before moving to Suva.

In 2010, Viriviri played for Lo­maiviti and Suva before joining Nadroga.

Viriviri played for the Police 7s side and caught the attention of then Fijian 7s assistant coach, the late Etuate Waqa, who brought him in as a back up winger for Waisea Nayacalevu.

Viriviri has also played for the Fi­jian Drua and the Flying Fijians.


Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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