Rabitu having a field day in camp

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Fijian Drua player Isikeli Rabitu on the sidelines during their training session at Albert Park in Suva earlier this month. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

For 19-year-old Isikeli Rabitu, rubbing shoulders with some of the best rugby players in the country over the past few months has been nothing short of a dream come true.

The former Suva Grammar School student is the youngest member of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua side after joining the squad last year.

“Like most young i-Taukei boys all over Fiji, I grew up with the common dream of playing rugby for Fiji when we’re older,” the Tailevu lad said.

Rabitu was recruited by Drua head coach Mick Byrne while representing Fiji during the Under-20 World Championships in South Africa last year.

“Ever since joining the Drua last year, I have learned a lot of things which have made me a much better player than I was.

“Just being present there on the field and to training daily with the best players in the country has been a dream come true.”

The youngster got his first taste of the Super Rugby competition during the Drua’s pre-season match against the Brumbies two weeks ago where he featured in the number 10 jersey.

“It was an amazing experience, to play my first unofficial Super Rugby match alongside some of my rugby idols and I thank our coach for giving me this opportunity to represent the country and play for the Drua.”

With the 2024 Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific season set to start next week, Rabitu said his target for the year was to get as much game time and exposure as possible.

“My target is to get all the exposure and experience I can get because I am just new to the team in this highly competitive tournament.

“I look forward to the season and I can’t wait to make my country proud.”

Meanwhile, the Drua will kick-off their season in Auckland against the Blues on February 24.

After the Super Round in Melbourne against Moana Pasifika on March 2, the Drua will host the Crusaders at Churchill Park on March 9, before heading to Hamilton to meet the Chiefs on March 16.

The team returns home for back-to-back matches in Lautoka against the Waratahs on March 23 and Western Force on March 30.

The Rebels host Drua on April 5, and the team returns to host the Hurricanes at the HFC Bank in Suva on April 19 and Moana Pasifika at Churchill Park on April 27.

After two away games against the Brumbies (May 4) and Western Force (May 11), the Drua will host the Reds in Suva on May 18.

The last away match will be against the Highlanders in the deep south of New Zealand on May 26, before the final regular season match against Melbourne Rebels in Lautoka on June 1.

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