Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Family support fuels Momo’s rugby aspirations

Newly named Fiji 7s utility back Akuila Momo says the support and financial backing of his family has enabled him to force his way into the national team and achieve the dream of representing the country.

The Nalotawa native from Ba was included in the team as a late replacement for an injured Kaminieli Rasaku and the youngster is determined to give his all in Hong Kong 7s next weekend.

He said his family was very happy to know of his selection.

“The family at home was very happy and that is what makes me happy, seeing them proud of me,” he told FRU Media.

“My parents have sacrificed a lot for me, for paying my bus fare to and from training and always supporting me financially, this is an answered prayer.”

As the oldest of five siblings, Akuila carries not only the weight of his own aspirations but also the hopes and dreams of his loved ones.

Momo played soccer in primary school and only developed an interest for rugby when he moved to Ratu Navula College in Nadi for high school studies.

Despite facing setbacks, such as not being selected during the Deans trials, Momo never gave up and switched to Rugby League where he played in the U18 team for Petero Civoniceva.

“I guess from there I realized that I did have a talent for rugby, and it encouraged me to keep pursuing,” he said.

Momo’s talent was recognized by national 7s selectors at this year’s Coral Coast 7s in Sigatoka where he featured prominently for the tournament finalists Saunaka and was also named the Player of the Tournament.

“Transitioning from club rugby to national training was very new to me and it took a bit of adjusting especially with discipline and diet but I am coping very well.”

“The news of my selection to replace Qams (Rasaku) at the Hong Kong 7s came as a surprise because I didn’t expect to be the last-minute change, especially just being new to the squad.”

Fiji is pooled with France, Australia and Canada for the Hong Kong 7s and will face the Aussies in their first match on Friday.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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