Former Naitasiri Secondary School student Emosi Daubitu says former two-time NRL champion and Wallabies speedster Suliasi Vunivalu’s success and fame inspired him to join the Kaiviti Silktails this year.
Speaking to FijiLive, the 2022 Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League Team star said he wants to follow in the footsteps of Vunivalu, and joining the Silktails is the first step.
“Everybody in the village only knows Suliasi Vunivalu through NRL. I started to watch his game and when he lifted the NRL trophy with the Storm, it was an eye-opener for me. I always wanted to play 7s rugby because I thought it was a fast and entertaining sport but then watching Vunivalu, I changed my decision.”
“He is a very tough player and I like the way he plays footy. Footy is not easy but the skills and the league styles he uses in the game amused me.”
“My aim is to learn and experience playing rugby league at the international level. When I got the call, I was surprised, happy and nervous because I’ve played at the school level and playing in a professional team, I knew it will be different.”
The 18-year-old revealed that he will utilise this chance to financially assist his family back in the village and save money for his education in later years.
“My dad is a farmer and mum stays home so we’ve seen how difficult life has been. My parents have struggled a lot so this is just a small way to thank them.”
“I want to play and earn good money to help my dad because he is the only breadwinner at home. When I told him about the Silktails contract, he was surprised and he asked me about my University education so I told him, I’ll study later. I said I’m ready to help him and he agreed to my rugby career.”
The winger added that he is currently working on his speed and aims to make an impressive start at the 2023 Ron Massey Cup in Australia.
“I’m just improving my running line and practicing more one-on-one footy. The coach said that wingers need a lot of speed and they need to have a solid catch so I’m just bettering it. My weakness is that sometimes my speed affects my kick-and-chase game.”
“My strength is that I can catch high balls, kick off both feet, side tackle and beat a player in a one-on-one situation. I’m really excited about the competition and we know it will be tough but I’m just gonna give my best and make my team and family proud.”
Meanwhile, the Silktails are expected to play a warm-up match later this month.