Nakesa’s rugby journey continues

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Mereoni Nakesa. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

In the heart of Vunamoli Village in Nadi, Fiji, resides a flourishing talent destined to leave an indelible mark on the world of rugby.

Meet 20-year-old Mereoni Nakesa, a formidable lock hailing from humble beginnings, whose journey embodies resilience, passion, and unwavering dedication to the sport she loves.

Her journey into rugby began in 2022 when she first donned the jersey for the Nadi women’s team in the Skipper Cup.

Despite being relatively new to the sport, her innate talent and commitment quickly caught the attention of selectors, paving the way for her selection to the prestigious Fijiana Drua team in the Super W.

“When I came into the Fijiana Drua set up, I learned a lot of things compared with just playing locally. There are things we learn here that can also benefit us in life after rugby,” she said.

A proud alumna of Nasesevia Secondary School, Nakesa’s rise in the rugby ranks has been nothing short of meteoric.

Her prowess as a lock for the Fijiana Drua has solidified her place as a key player in the team’s quest for glory, with their sights set on defending their title for a third consecutive year this season.

For Nakesa, rugby isn’t just a game; it’s a lifeline, a source of hope and opportunity amidst adversity.

As the only child, she has faced her fair share of challenges but her gratitude towards the Drua knows no bounds.

“As the only child, I’m grateful to be here and make my parents proud and of course the whole village too, as I am a pure Vunamoli girl because my mum is also from Vunamoli.”

One of her most memorable experiences came when she proudly represented Fiji at the Oceania Cup in Australia.

The opportunity to don the national jersey and compete against the best in the region remains etched in her memory, serving as a testament to her unwavering determination and resilience.

Beyond the accolades and victories, rugby has afforded Nakesa the opportunity to travel the globe, immersing her in different cultures and landscapes. Grateful for the experiences the sport has bestowed upon her, she remains steadfast in her commitment to excel, both on and off the field.

As Nakesa continues to carve her path in the world of rugby, her journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes everywhere.

With her sights set on greater heights, there’s no doubt that this young phenom is destined for greatness, leaving an indelible legacy in Fijian rugby for years to come.

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