Rugby

 Toulon Product Shines For Fiji

 Eneriko Buliruarua’s journey from Vanua Levu to Marist and to France.
21 Jul 2021 18:49
 Toulon Product Shines For Fiji
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians second five eight, Eneriko Buliruarua after their second Test match against the All Blacks in FMG Stadium, Hamilton on July 17, 2021.

Akilio Drevula Buliruarua, was the happiest dad when his son, Eneriko made the starting line-up for the Flying Fijians in the Test match against the All Blacks, last Sat­urday.

Eneriko, who started on the bench in the first Test, replaced injured captain Levani Botia at second five eight in Hamilton.

It was also the first time for him to play in the position and he did not disap­point.

The power runner was later named as the Flying Fijian’s man of the match.

And his dad could not be more proud of his achievement.

The former Labasa College student, 24, hails from Nakarabo Village in Vaturo­va, Cakaudrove and shares maternal links to Vatudamu in Savusavu.

He grew up in the village where he at­tended Vunisalusalu Central School, and Buliruarua always knew that he would be a great rugby player in future.

“I would like to thank God, for His provision in Riko’s life and all he has achieved in his rugby career,” his dad said.

“He started playing rugby in class two and I always knew he had the potential.

“It is a great milestone that many of these young boys dream of– to reach the pinnacle of their rugby career that is to represent Fiji.”

Eneriko was the first from his village to don the national colours and his fa­ther indicated that it was a great mo­ment for their family members.

“He is also a talented singer and a farmer besides being a professional rugby player.

“People gathered at home to watch the game and cheer for him and the Flying Fijians since he is the first Fiji rep from here,” Buliruarua said.

“Eneriko often visited home not until recently because of the COVID-19 pan­demic, however he always contacted us regularly.”

He started his high school at Vaturova Koroalau High School before moving to La­basa College.

One of his un­cles, Reverend­Father Filimo­ni Vosabalavu, arranged for him to attend Marist Broth­ers High School rugby academy in Suva where he played at the Deans Trophy competi­tion.

From MBHS, he joined the Toulon Academy, France in 2016 after turning down a rugby league offer.

Eneriko plays for Brive in the French Top 14 since 2019 along with Flying Fi­jians team- mates Kitione Kamikamica, Mesake Doge, Peni Narisia and Setareki Tuicuvu.

He has been signed up by La Rochelle for the next season where he will play alongside Botia.

Feedback: sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj

 



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