Rugby | SPORTS

Family Support Keeps Rubuti Going

The support of close family members has enabled prop Joma Rubuti to make the Rooster Chicken Fijiana XVs squad for this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.
06 Oct 2022 13:30
Family Support Keeps Rubuti Going
Rooster Chicken Fijiana XVs winger Ana Maria Naimasi is tackled by lock Sulita Waisega during training in Auckland, New Zealand, on October 5,2022. Photo: FRU Media

The support of close family members has enabled prop Joma Rubuti to make the Rooster Chicken Fijiana XVs squad for this year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.

“Financial constraints was a ma­jor challenge that I faced,” the for­mer Suva Grammar School student said.

“It was the support of my mum, dad and siblings that got me through.”

Rubuti said it was an honour to represent her country at the World Cup.

She was the Fijiana Drua’s first choice loosehead prop when they won the Super W competition in Australia, early this year.

Rubuti is a definite starter in Sat­urday’s World Cup opener against England at Eden Park in Auckland.

 

England captain cautious

Meanwhile, England is the red-hot favourite to win the World Cup and is drawing inspiration from their football team, who won Euro 2022 earlier this year.

Ranked No1 in the world women’s game and riding a record of 25 con­secutive Test victories, they open their Cup bid by playing one of the tournament’s newcomers, Fiji.

Halfback Leanne Infante said like all the teams competing, England wanted to show women’s rugby was exciting to watch, and backing what their football contemporar­ies, (known as the Lionesses) did, would have a big effect.

“The Lionesses attracted such a huge crowd (87,192 at their Wemb­ley final in July).

“I wasn’t a women’s football fan before that, but tuning in and get­ting behind them, from a woman’s perspective, was huge, and I think a lot of people did that.

“If we can have that same influ­ence – people might not have ever watched women’s rugby before but they have that opportunity to tune in,” she said.

 

England captain Sarah Hunter, who tasted World Cup success in 2014, was more conservative in her comments. Winning the World Cup would mean everything, but they couldn’t afford to get ahead of themselves.

“We’re very process-focused in the fact we’ve got three pool games, and we need to take each of them as they come.

“The pool finishes, and we’ll deal with the quarters if they come.

“As soon as you start to get ahead of yourself, complacency kicks in, and that’s when you are not focused as you should be.

“That’s when results could hap­pen that you don’t want.

“We’re under no illusion this is going to be the most competitive World Cup yet.

“You look around at the prepa­ration every team has had, and they’ve had more time together in the build-up than ever.

“It’s going to be a real challenge. But, we’ve set ourselves out that this is what we want to do.

“We want to top off that 25-games and really put ourselves down in history. We want to win the big shiny thing at the end,” she said.

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