September 16, 2022
Pilipo Bukayaro was in Year one when Fiji won the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2005 and never dreamt he would lift the Melrose Cup with the national team 17 years later.
The 22-year-old Natewa, who is the youngest member of the team told FijiLive he is still in awe of how far he has come.
“I was in class one, and now that Melrose Cup I heard so many stories about, I have bought back home to Fiji."
One of the more recent inclusions into the Fiji 7s squad, Bukayaro said he was not a serious rugby player until Fiji won the Olympic Games gold medal in 2016.
“It was then while I was still a student of Ratu Kadavulevu School, that I decided I was going to pursue rugby, and also the World Cup.
“It is still all very surreal for me, coming this far and seeing the win make so many people proud, I am humbled and very honoured, but it couldn’t have been possible without the talent and skill in the Fiji 7s team as well as the management’s guidance."
In scoring the last try in the 29-12 win over New Zealand in the final in Cape Town, Bukayaro said his aim was to score before that game finished.
“I came on in the second half, and I wanted to score."
“I thank the Almighty for that achievement, which I will never forget."
"I dedicated that try, and the win to my parents whose names I keep written on my straps in every game, and especially my father who drives me to be the rugby player I am today.”
By Noa Biudole