Nadroga flanker Manueli Ratuniyarawa is cherishing his moments after being names in the 32 member Flying Fijians squad for the Autumn Nations Cup in Europe.

Ratuniyarawa said “I’m really looking forward to this tour and I can’t wait to go and rub shoulders our brothers from overseas.

He added “Starting of this year, I was just a village boy playing rugby in the village but I kept working hard and my target was just to my province Nadroga but then I’m so fortunate to have been included in the Flying Fijians.

Ratuniyarawa said it’s a really proud moment for him and his family and it’s also a tick in box as one of his lifetime goals.

“My faith in god is what that has inspired me and get me going.

Before, I took rugby as pleasure and didn’t looked after myself well but this year I have managed to take control of myself and be more discipline” he said.

He thanked Nadroga Rugby President Tiko Matawalu for scouting him and giving him a chance to play for the Stallions this season.

He added “I very much thankful to Tiko and all others who encouraged me and pushed me to work hard through-out the Skipper Cup season this year.”

The 26-year old who has also played sevens with the Wardens team said former Fijian 7s and Olympic Gold medallist Jasa Veremalua has been his role model.

Ratuniyarawa said “Jasa Veremalua is my cousin so I feel he was one of the main person who inspired me because in the village we all looked up to him.

I always saw him playing for Fiji, I promised myself that one day I will follow him so here I’m now.”

The lanky forward has also spent a few season playing in Malaysia last season.

He said he is looking forward to meeting the overseas based players specially Semi Radradra.

“I very much looking forward to meeting him and maybe getting some tips from him” said Ratuniyarawa.


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