17-year-old Anare Tabakaucoro of the Fiji Rugby HPU Elite Academy is eager to make it big in the sport and make his mother proud.
The Year 12 student at Queen Victoria School who was part of the 2023 Vodafone Deans U18 Champion team and has now earned a spot in the academy is one of the youngest players who underwent vigorous training in Suva last week.
Tabakaucoro’s rugby journey began at the tender age of 9 when he first touched the rugby ball at Namara District School.
In an interview with Fiji Rugby Media, he said he was inspired by the unwavering belief of his single mother, Selina Moceinavaga who has always supported him.
“My mother was the reason I took up the sport, she wanted me to play rugby for the family and for my village just like my uncle, Moana Pasifika winger Jim Tavatavanawai,” he said.
Tabakaucoro’s mother, is a food vendor at the Suva market and in moments between school and rugby, the youngster helps his mother with her daily business.
“So rugby for me is just not a game but I want to be able to offer my mother a better future, I see how she works hard every day and I want to give back.”
Apart from securing a lucrative rugby contract, Tabakaucoro is also focused on completing his education and becoming an electrical engineer.
“I also am working hard in school to become an electrical engineer, I know rugby is not a long term career so it’s good to have something to fall back on,” he said.
The Nakalawaca, Namara in Tailevu lad said joining the academy at his age is a blessing as things learnt in camp has been more than just rugby.
“These past few days we learn a lot about values, being better men not only on the field but off the field as well, this will greatly help me to become a better person in the future,” he said.
Tabakaucoro continues his high school education next year and will be part of the academy through the 2024 season.