Rugby | SPORTS

Naitasiri, First Holders of Rev Rinakama Shield

“Rev Jioji Rinakama Shield is to commemorate Naitasiri’s rise in rugby union since 1998,” he said.
08 Aug 2023 17:39
Naitasiri, First Holders of Rev Rinakama Shield
Former Naitasiri rugby captain Apisai Rinamalo (right) hands over the Reverend Jioji Rinakama Shield and $500 prize money to Filimoni Seru at Kini Douglas at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori, on August 5, 2023. Photo: Sereana Salalo

The Ram Sami Naitasiri rugby side walked home with an extra $500 cash after beating Nadroga 20-13 in their Skipper Cup clash in Nausori, last Saturday.

Not only the Highlanders maintained their unbeaten run in the competition, they also won the inaugural Reverend Jioji Rinakama Shield.

Naitasiri Rugby Union chairman Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt-Col) Aseri Rokoura said the Reverend Jioji Rinakama was an initiative of their union to celebrate the success of the Highlanders in local rugby.

“Rev Jioji Rinakama Shield is to commemorate Naitasiri’s rise in rugby union since 1998,” he said.

“It is only befitting that the Reverend Jioji Rinakama who served with Nadroga and also had successful tint at Nadroga as well as with Naitasiri. It is to commemorate the quality of rugby that the two provinces showcased.

“We want to thank the players, chiefs and the vanua for blessing this, one of the sons of Naitasiri regardless of where he is.

“This is to pay attribute to one of the successful local coaches in Fiji.”

Reverend Rinakama is currently with the FIJI Water Flying Fijians for their Rugby World Cup campaign taking care of the spiritual side of things for the team.

The shield was donated by former Naitasiri captain Apisai Rinamalo and the $500 cash was donated by Mohammed Saheed Ali of Suva.

“This is the 25th anniversary of NRU unification since 1998, since it was banned in 1994 for four years.

“We are so thankful to the vanua Nakuruvarua for allowing us play in 1998 thus the rise today and be one of the recognised provinces in rugby.

“We thank the Fiji Rugby Union for allowing this double-header,” Rokoura added.


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