Rugby | SPORTS

Droasese’s Dream Run

It has been a journey for Swire Shipping Fijian Drua utility back Ilaisa Droasese. After being released from the Queensland Reds, midway into the Super Rugby Pacific season, he was drafted into the Drua squad. Now, the 22-year-old was named in the Flying Fijians’ 34-member squad for next month’s World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup.
07 Jun 2022 16:00
Droasese’s Dream Run
Ilaisa Droasese during a training session with the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on April 29, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

It has been a journey for Swire Shipping Fijian Drua utility back Ilaisa Droasese.

After being released from the Queensland Reds, midway into the Super Rugby Pacific season, he was drafted into the Drua squad.

Now, the 22-year-old was named in the Flying Fijians’ 34-member squad for next month’s World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup.

A natural fullback, he has been the answer to Flying Fijians Head Coach Vern Cotter’s search to add depth to the position.

 

The Togovere, Nadroga, native told SUNsports from Sigatoka yesterday that while being brought up in Ba, he always dreamt of playing for the Flying Fijians.

“My dream just turned to reality when I was named in the Flying Fijians squad for the Pacific Nations Cup,” Droasese said.

“It’s every Fijian boy’s dream to wear the white jersey and I have just achieved that.”

 

“I’m so honoured and happy to be selected. I thank God and my family for their endless support in my rugby career.”

“I know the phone call home will be an emotional one especially when I will tell my parents.”

“This is a huge achievement for me personally and my family.”

 

Droasese said he is grateful to the Reds and the Drua for giving him the much-needed exposure.

“Now that I’m in the squad the hard work never stops, I have to keep my head down and work on areas that I have to improve on.

“This is the international level so I have to be ready to meet the standard of the competition.

 

“It’s a big thing for me to be playing with these Flying Fijian star players especially (Levani) Botia and (Waisea) Nayacalevu.”

“Growing up I only watched them on television.”

“The next day, me and my friends would go and play touch rugby where we try to imitate them.”

 

“I thank God for always making a way for me, in 2017 and 2018 when I joined Cuvu (College) and played in the Deans Trophy competition.”

“Later, in 2019 I played for the Fiji Under-20 at the Junior World Cup in Argentina. I kept my hopes and dreams of making the Flying Fijian team alive.”

 

Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter believes Droasese has the making to become a good fullback.

“He has the potential and is going to get an opportunity during the test.

He played well for the Drua, good under the high ball something that we were missing. We’ve got Setareki Tuicuvu who is shorter of the two but both players are fast and are good at counter attacks.”

 

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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