I wanted to give our local players a chance – Taqele Naiyaravoro about RWC19

Former Wallaby Taqele Naiyaravoro has made it clear that his international future is with Fiji. Although he has been unable to join their team of seven players for the last two matches of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series in London and Paris.

Fifteen-year-old Fijian coach John McKee has proposed adding Naiyaravoro to the Sevens team to try to qualify Fijian’s Northampton winger for the World Cup in Japan, but that will not happen. Fans are ready to book their online tickets for Rugby World Cup to see live performances of their favourite team and players.

Taqele Naiyaravoro - ‘I wanted to give our local players a chance’ In RWC19
Taqele Naiyaravoro – ‘I wanted to give our local players a chance’ In RWC19

Gareth Baber, the Sevens coach in Fiji, said it would not be possible to parachute the trials into a three-point team from the US leader. To try to explain why he chose to play for Australia, where he won two caps and now wants to represent Fiji.

Naiyaravoro turned to Facebook to tell his fans, “It’s just impossible for me to make a pass to seven at this point. Yes, as some of you have said, it’s too late and the Sevens team must win the title. Many things depend on the last two tournaments, so I Believe God’s timing is best.”

I have not regretted representing the Wallabies. Honestly, because as a teenager I have always dreamed of playing for Fiji. I never thought the Wallabies would interest me. It was a dream I never had, so I continued and I’m happy to have been part of this team.

Yes, some might say I turned my back on Fiji, but that’s not all. Because I had the idea not to play for Fiji because it was because I wanted to give a chance to our local players. And it was not easy – it hurt me in a way because there is no other feeling than to represent your country of birth.

My intentions of representing Fiji were never dead and I made the decision three years ago to play for Fiji. So do not think it’s a last-minute thing, because I had to follow the World Rugby rule of a three-year suspension of internationals in order to even be eligible for Fiji.

This whole process was not built overnight. I do not seek the approval of any of you. I just want to point out that I made a decision in the past for a specific reason and that the last thing I wanted was to qualify someone who was overthrowing his country or chasing money.

“Money cannot buy happiness or replace the feeling of wearing the jersey of Fiji. Yes, I understand that there are already a lot of quality players among the flying Fijians, but it would be an honour to be able to share the field with them.”

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