Talacolo: I’m Ready To Play For My Country

After missing out on the final 13 spots for the Olympic Games, he made sure that he would make the team to Dubai.
16 Nov 2021 15:11
Talacolo: I’m Ready To Play For My Country
Josefa Talacolo (with ball) looks for support as Samu Kerevi of Australia closes in during the Oceania tournament in Townsville, Australia in July . Photo: Oceania Rugby

Lanky Fiji Airways Fijian 7s forward, Josefa Talacola, is looking forward to his first game in the HSBC World Sevens Series tournament in Dubai, from November 26-27.

Talacolo was named a travelling reserve for the Fijian men’s rugby sevens team that played at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

After missing out on the final 13 spots for the Olympic Games, he made sure that he would make the team to Dubai.

The Naqarawai, Namosi native’s aerial ball skills, offloads and brutal defensive play will be vital in our campaign. And to top all that is his ability to win restarts.

Talacola told SUNsports that he has finally achieved his childhood dream.

“I’ve always worked hard for this so when given an opportunity I’m always ready to play for my country,” the Police Blue rep said.

“Opportunity comes once now that I have that chance I’m ready to lift my game in Dubai. My main target was to make it to the final 13 that will play in Dubai.

“I want to play for Fiji at the sevens series. A lot of our senior players have left for contracts with the Fijian Drua.

“We still have senior players like Josua Vakurinabili, Livai Ikanikoda and Waisea Nacuqu around.

“Those players that have left have not dampened our spirits because the game of sevens is nothing new to us because we love playing it.”

Talacolo said playing in international tournaments is going to be tough because it is where the world’s best sevens’ players play in.

“Those players have set a standard that we will need to be on par with.

“I need to improve on my running lines, quick passes and my offloads should be accurate with no delays.

“It was quite tough to resume training after the Olympic Games, the rest period nearly took its toll on me but luckily we had to regroup with the Police Blue side.

“When I returned to training with the Police team I faced some challenges and I had to endure it.


Life after rugby

“I used to be an all-rounder when it comes to sports. This is because back in the village on a normal afternoon I could start from playing volleyball, then a little bit of touch rugby before I called it a day,” he said.

Talacolo started playing rugby while attending Lelean Memorial School in Davuilevu, outside Nausori, before returning to his village.

“I couldn’t take life so one afternoon I sat down and thought hard about my future, I realised that rugby can help me earn money for my family.

“I always get support from my parents especially my dad and uncles who are always advising me.

“When I think of what they tell me, it moulded me into a good player and even a better person.

“So without their advice I wouldn’t be here today. “When I started playing the Fiji Corrections Service approached me to play for them. I didn’t take their offer seriously and continued playing in local sevens’ tournaments.

“I then went to play in New Zealand and when I returned the Police team approached me.

“It was then I realised that playing rugby will come to an end and there is nothing for me to fall back on.

“I took the offer because it was an opportunity for me to work and earn money for my family.”



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