Masima Connects With His Family Through Rugby League

Playing for the Vodafone Fiji Bati enabled Netane Masima to reconnect with his Fijian family.
25 Jun 2022 11:52
Masima Connects With His Family Through Rugby League
Vodafone Fiji Bati halfback Netane Masima in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Playing for the Vodafone Fiji Bati enabled Netane Masima to reconnect with his Fijian family.

Masima, is making a comeback from semi-retirement and was named at halfback in tonight’s Pacific clash against the Papua New Guinea Kumuls.

The 24-year-old’s grandmother hails from Vanuabalavu in Lau.

Playing for West Magpies in the NSW Cup competition, Masima said he is honoured to play for the Bati.

“I’m grateful to be in this camp even to be selected to play in the Test match,” he said.

“My mum’s mother is Fijian and she passed away when I was young.

“I didn’t have the chance to know about the Fijian culture but the last few days mean a lot to me and my family.

“Not many people know that I’m Fijian, it’s a real humbling experience to be selected and to play for my country.

“I want to learn about the culture, the language I just want to keep learning.

“I want to return to my grandmother’s village and get to know my family there.

“I’m mostly Tongan but it means so much for me to represent my Fijian culture because I have never done that before.

“Now I’ll get to do it on the big stage and everyone will be there to watch it.

“I thought it was a joke when I first found out that I was selected.

“I thought they had the wrong person, I didn’t think it was actually me.”

Masima played for the Tongan Under-20’s rugby union side against Fiji in 2017. They drew 26-26 and 16 of Tonga’s points came from his boots.”

“That time I thought about playing for Fiji and now I’m doing it.

“It’s unreal and now I’m at seven. I’m even getting goosebumps as I talk about it.”

Masima said when he first arrived at the hotel, he nervous to get out of the car because he saw names like Viliame Kikau, Maika Sivo and Waqa Blake.

“I’m like a nobody to them. You see these guys on NRL TV and now I’m in camp and training with them. These boys are awesome and they make me feel comfortable. I’m trying not to think about it much but it’s crazy to actually think that I’m going to be playing.

“I even have to pinch myself because it’s unbelievable. I’m at halfback and I got Waqa Blake and Maika Sivo outside me, it’s really unreal.”


Latest Bati update

Second rower Taniela Sadrugu is ruled out of tonight’s clash after pulling a hamstring during the Captain’s run on Friday. He is replaced by Nasoki Ralulu.

The match kicks off at 9.50pm (Fiji time)



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