SPORTS

Rise of Taikala

He lost his father when he was four years old. He then used to help his mother fetch prawns from a nearby river so that they could sell by the roadside.
19 May 2022 16:30
Rise of Taikala
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua second five eight Kalaveti Ravouvou dives over to score a try against the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby Pacific clash at AMMI Park. Photo: Fijian Drua

He lost his father when he was four years old. He then used to help his mother fetch prawns from a nearby river so that they could sell by the roadside.

That’s the story of Swire Shipping Fijian Drua second five-eight, Ka­laveti Ravouvou. During the Super Rugby Pacific, Ravouvou has been the unsung hero of the Drua back­line.

His strong carries, tenacious tack­les and ability to break the opposi­tion defence has even made Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter sit up and take notice.

Cotter is now considering him to play for the Flying Fijians in the July test matches.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Ravouvou’s mum Luisa said her son was fondly known as ‘Taikala’.

Kalaveti Ravouvou’s mother Luisa Ravouvou and Saula Maiyale in Nadroumai. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Kalaveti Ravouvou’s mother Luisa
Ravouvou and Saula Maiyale in
Nadroumai. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

She said Ravouvou always wanted to be a cowboy. He owns three hors­es and used them to herd cattle on his farm.

“I’m always feel proud when Kala plays and the plaster on his hand has the word ‘Lewa’ written on it. (Lewa in the Nadroga dialect means mother), it reminds me of how he was brought up,” she said.

“I’m a proud mother to see my son follow his dream, in this case it is rugby. Our village of Nadrou­mai is well-known for two things – rugby and for healing bone injuries through massaging.”

Luisa said Ravouvou’s dad died after suffering a short illness in 2003.

“Kalaveti loved rugby at a young age and played for Nadroumai Primary School then represented the Nadroga Kaji rugby team. He joined Cuvu Col­lege and played in the Dean’s Tro­phy competition before he joined the Nadroga Under-20 side. Later, Kalaveti joined Namosi where he was recruited as a Fiji Corrections officer.”

Luisa said back in those days, Ra­vouvou would tag along with his older cousins and uncles for rugby training or to watch club matches.

“I just let him be and always ad­vised him to commit himself to rugby if he knows the sport is something he loves. I continued supporting him,” she added.

R u g ­by is not new i n Ravouvou’s fam­ily. He is close­l y related to former All Blacks wing­e r Waisake Naho­lo , Kini Naholo, Edinburgh’s Mesulame Ku­navula, Jone Navori, and Avete Daveta.

FeedBack: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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