Navunimono Village celebrates Melrose Cup victory

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Villagers of Navunimono, Verata, Tailevu, the home of Kaminieli Rasaku, herald the Melrose Cup yesterday to mark the Rugby World Cup Sevens victory with feast and festivity yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

It was a grand celebration as the villagers of Navunimono Village in Verata, Tailevu, when they welcomed the Melrose Cup in a traditional ceremony yesterday.

The village that raised one of the Fiji 7s reps, Kaminieli Rasaku erupted in celebration and villagers merrymaking as they marched through the village green with the cup singing and dancing. Rasaku’s mother Asilika Marama wished her son was present so that they could celebrate together.

Rasaku, 23, has joined Pro D2champions Bayonne Club in France after the World Cup Sevens at Cape Town, South Africa.

“I wish he was here so that we can celebrate his achievement,” she said.

The single mother of four said his son’s achievement wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t their faith in God and the support from her family.

“My brother took him in when he was young and has been looking after him until now.

“He always listens, so when he said that he wanted to play rugby while in school, his uncle, my brother told him to follow his heart and he did.”

His uncle Ilisoni Naivalu said he always treated Rasaku as his own.

The retired Fiji Corrections Service officer said he wanted to play rugby and had asked to join the Lelean Memorial School academy which he did.

“From then on until now, all his achievement is through his faith and hard work and we are proud of him.”

He rose to the sevens arena when he played for Uluinakau 7s team in 2020 before he was drafted into the sevens extended squad.

He made his debut in the Dubai 7s last year.