Rugby | SPORTS

Sireli Bobo Uses French Connection in Deals

Starting way back in 2005, the Nawairuku, Nalawa, Ra native has assisted players that include Fijian-born and now France national rep Virimi Vakatawa, former Flying Fijians sevens captain Levani Botia, Rio Olympic gold medallist Savenaca Rawaca.
29 Dec 2021 16:11
Sireli Bobo Uses French Connection in Deals
Former Flying Fijians and sevens speedster, Sireli Bobo.

Helping Fijians who aspire to be professional rugby players is former Flying Fijians and sevens speedster, Sireli Bobo’s passion.

With his French connection and fluency in the language he has assisted and introduced many to play professional rugby in that country.

Starting way back in 2005, the Nawairuku, Nalawa, Ra native has assisted players that include Fijian-born and now France national rep Virimi Vakatawa, former Flying Fijians sevens captain Levani Botia, Rio Olympic gold medallist Savenaca Rawaca.

 

“Vakatawa was 18 and was representing Nasinu Secondary School in rugby league when I first spotted him,” Bobo said.

“I proposed his name to Racing 92 and they told me if you want to bring him then you will have to pay for everything and he will stay with you.

“I paid his fare, visa, did his academy contract and we stayed together for two years before he signed up with Racing.

 

“I advised him that his goal was to be the first Fijian to represent France. Look where he is now.”

Recent recruitments are Navosa brothers, Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Kavekini Tabu.

Mocenacagi has signed up with Pro D2 club, USON Nevers while Tabu is a medical joker for La Rocehlle.

 

“Rugby is life changing and empowering a lot of Fijians; I use my connections to assist deserving players.”

“I can relate to their situation because I was once in their shoes,” 45-year-old Bobo said.

He was in France for 12 years, playing for Biarritz, Racing 92, La Rochelle and Toulon in the Pro D2 and French top 14 from 2005 to 2017.

He had initially played for Hurricanes in the Super 12 and Wellington in the NPC competition in 2003 and 2004 respectively.

 

In 2017 he played for Strasbourg in the Federale1 competition and Rugby Asia Pacific in the Rapid Rugby competition from 2018 to 2019.

“I am thorough; I am particular with those who are keen because I do not want them to spoil things when they are there.

The first two players Bobo had assisted were Ilikena Bolakoro and Peni Mana Matalau in 2005.

 

“No one helped me with the lodging of my visa and finding a place to stay when I first went over to France.

“I have been there, done that; I always put God first in everything that I do.

Bobo is a level 2 World Rugby accredited coach and currently doing his Level 3.

 

Last year he coached the Serua women’s in the 2020 Vanua Cup.

His team, Veiyasana Providers, won the Bowl final at the recent Wairiki sevens is now gearing up for the Veiyasana 7s on January 6 and 7 at the Ra sports ground.

40 teams will participate in the two-day tournament.
Feedback: sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj



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