Hard work, dedication and perseverance have helped Aisea Tuisese develop in recent years and been granted a contract with the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua team.
Tuisese was one of the four Drua players in attendance at The University of the South Pacific (USP) and Swire Shipping Fijian Drua Drop Goal Challenge at our Laucala Campus.
The lad said he realised his passion for rugby at the age of nine after playing in the Kaji Rugby competition a few years ago.
“I was born and raised in a family where rugby runs through our blood. Growing up, I knew I had a passion for rugby. I started playing this sport in primary school, and I was usually placed in the half-back position,” he said.
Tuisese stressed that after recognising his potential in this field, he became a rugby fanatic and knew he would one day represent Fiji in an international tournament.
Raised in a humble setting, the Serea, Naitasiri lad committed himself to rugby, and his talent was discovered in 2019.
“This was an inborn talent. It was an honour to be selected for the Drua team, and I would say that some of my strengths included my passing and attacking. As of now, I continue to work on my kicking skills,” he added.
Tuisese said his plan now is to secure a spot in any of the Drua international outings during this season and will work towards pursuing his studies further at USP in the near future.
“I am a USP student, and my programme focuses on Biology and Chemistry. Balancing my professional rugby career whilst studying is not easy, but it is not impossible either. I’ve learned that it’s important to manage time wisely, and this is how I have been able to keep up with the two things I am currently pursuing.”
Meanwhile, another Drua player, Isikeli Rabitu, shared that rugby players must have a proper plan for ‘life after rugby’.
The 18-year-old, who hails from Naila in Bau, Tailevu, attended Suva Methodist Primary School, then moved to Veiuto Primary before joining Suva Grammar School (SGS) for his secondary education.
He was an instrumental member of the SGS rugby team that won the Super Deans Under-14 title in 2019.
Rabitu said the visit to USP is an opportunity for him to see first-hand the learning environment and campus life. He is now considering learning more about the programmes on offer at USP.
“Plan for life after rugby is critical for any rugby player. I am also planning to pursue my studies, and while at the campus today, I learned many things. Hopefully, I will get a chance soon to enquire about various programmes on offer,” he stated.
The Tailevu lad said he was shocked to have received confirmation about his placement in the Fijian Drua team.
“When I was first selected, I seriously could not believe it. My coach told me to keep the information to myself, but I went on to inform my family as I was excited. Even my family members could not sink in my recent achievement,” he said.
He stressed that he would consider education when the time is right; for now, his focus is on rugby, “which requires proper diet monitoring, keeping fit and healthy, conducting unseen training and workouts, and most importantly – the need to obey parents.”
Rabitu’s message to aspiring rugby players is “Follow what your heart tells you. Where there is a will, there is a way”.