Momo plays cards right

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Fijian Drua players Peni Matawalu and Epeli Momo during training. Picture: FIJIAN DRUA FB PAGE

Playing his cards right, Epeli Momo left France to sail with the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua this season, eager to experience what the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific is all about.

The lanky, soft-spoken Ba giant spent the past three years playing for Pro D2 club Montauban in France where he started at wing but was shifted to the forwards at the back end of his contract.

Hearing about the Drua’s participation in Super Rugby was appealing to him and when inquiries came about on his availability, he did not hesitate to sign.

His signing was a strategic one for the Drua which now has options at wing.

“There is a lot of competition at wing in this playing group. I’m thankful to the coaching staff for trusting me to start on the wing in the two trial matches.

“Only God knows how happy I am to be playing on the wing, I can’t describe it, only God knows. From our first conversation, they made it clear that I should play in my original position, it showed the different perspective that coaches have but I’m grateful that they met my desire,” Momo said.

“While in France, during my third year, I was playing in the number 8 position, but I am thankful for that opportunity. When I signed for the Drua, they put me back on the wing which is my preferred position that I started from.”

Momo is no stranger to the squad as he played with the likes of captain Meli Derenalagi and is related to Livai Natave through his maternal links to Sabeto, Nadi. But, other relations in the team keeps him on his toes.

“I have a few tauvu in the team and they’re full of themselves,” he said jokingly.

Like any player, Momo humbly started his rugby journey with a local club before joining Nadi under-20 for Skipper Cup.

He was chosen to be part of the Fiji Rugby Union’s High-Performance Unit and represented Fiji U20 in 2019.

He earned his contract in France in 2018 while featuring for the Fiji Warriors and Fiji Latui.

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