Sadrugu’s cane fields dream takes a twist

Fiji 7s forward Taniela Sadrugu takes a break during a training session in Brisbane, Australia, Picture: FRU

Walking along the sugarcane belt in Wailevu, Macuata and Labasa, inspired Taniela Sadrugu to become a successful and independent person in life.

Mumbling the names of rugby icons, Sadrugu never imagined that one day fate will take a twist to set him a new course in his sporting career.

Sadrugu said he dreamt to be a successful rugby union player while in Labasa, but as he started to pursue his dream, life has other plans.

With his father being a Fiji Corrections officer, Sadrugu’s education moved from various schools according to where their family resided.

And his childhood vision and the experience he endured at his village school, ensured that even if he will not become successful in education, sports would be his next option.

Because his father has a successful career, he said he wanted to repay how he brought him up until today.

“I thank my family and the Nabua Rugby Union Club and RKS (Ratu kadavulevu School) for raising me in my career,” he said.

“I have been moving from place to place because of my dad’s employment and I was only influenced by how I watched rugby union as a kid.

“I have never played rugby league in my life and that is the biggest challenge that I will have to tackle.”

The information system and statistics student of The University of the South Pacific, said his push for success started when he was not part of the Fiji 7s team to the Tokyo Olympics.

“In our journey, that is part of it. Sometimes when you are not being called, it doesn’t mean you fail, it gives you the courage to push your limits,” the 23-year-old said.

“Things have been going smooth for me until this year and I had to accept when I was omitted from being part of the Olympics trip.

“I was a bit in pain, but was at peace inside because I knew the players chosen were from God. He knows the plans He has set for me.

“But the hardship my parents and my uncles go through at their farms in Wailevu drove me to never lose hope.”

Sadrugu said during his lowest point in his sporting career, his manager contacted him that he had mapped out a plan for him to pursue a career in rugby the National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia.

“I was very happy because I knew that was the reason I was not chosen to the Olympics trip.”

He said we wanted to be part of the Fijian Drua rugby team but he had other plans.

“I would be blessed to be part of the franchise but through my discussions with my coaches I was convinced to try rugby league. Semi Radradra is always my inspiration and I want to follow his footsteps.

“I had a dream that one day I can become one of the best players this country has produced. Radradra played rugby union and rugby league at the highest level.”

He said his idols were Sam Burgess and Petero Civoniceva.

“They are two of the most influential forwards in rugby league,” he said. He said he only watched rugby league but was ready to rub shoulders with NRL icons.

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