Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Emotional homecoming for young Kunawale

Maloni Kunawave, an 18-year-old rugby prodigy from Nasama, Nadroga, recently made an emotional return to Fiji after five years in New Zealand.

Kunawave, who moved to New Zealand in 2018 on a scholarship for study and play rugby while still in primary school, was part of the New Zealand development 7s team participating in the Coral Coast 7s tournament 2024.

Looking back on his experiences, Kunawave acknowledged the significant role New Zealand rugby has played in his development as a player and the chance it provided for him to reunite with his family in Fiji.

“After 5 years, I have been back here, really grateful for the opportunity New Zealand rugby team have given me. I get to come and meet my family; it’s really special to be learning and growing with the kiwi boys,” he shared.

For Kunawave, the trip was more than just a rugby tournament; it was a chance to reconnect with his roots and family, whom he hadn’t seen since his move.

His aspirations are high as he aims to climb the ranks in New Zealand rugby.

“For me, I would love to be considered to play in the top team, and I know I will slowly walk my way up there,” he said, looking towards a bright future in the sport.

Simran Chand
Simran Chand
Journalist |


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