“Budding Rugby Star Impresses NRL Coaches in Sydney”

Teenager Timoci Nagusa Junior is now in Sydney attending the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs’ one-week trial at their academy camp.

The 14-year-old Dratabu, Nadi native is forging his own path and has no intention of living off the legacy of his father, a former Flying Fijian.

Emerging as a promising talent in rugby league, Nagusa Junior has previously competed in the Milo Kaji competition and is known for his athletic prowess.

A student at Marist Brothers High School, he holds the sub-junior boy’s shot put record with a throw of 15.04 meters and is also part of the school’s Under-14 rugby union team.

“Rugby league is a completely different game with its own style and rules,” Nagusa Junior said. “Nothing is impossible if the mind is open and the heart is willing. The NRL atmosphere is truly ‘wowza’.”

Proud mother Makereta Losalini Tuilevuka described the Australian trip as a marvelous act of God in their lives.

“JJ had no prior knowledge of the game, and I am amazed by the progress he is making. Canterbury Bulldogs have brought him in to test his capabilities, and he will return with a specific program to follow. He wants to be back by Saturday for his Marist U14 side’s semi-final,” she said.

Speaking from Sydney, Nagusa Junior expressed his determination to seize every opportunity and work hard at mastering the new game. “I will take one opportunity at a time and work diligently. Mum has always supported me, and I intend to make her proud,” he said.

Born in Montpellier, France, Nagusa Junior lived there for the first five years of his life before returning to Fiji. He was initially spotted by Fiji Bati head coach Wise Kativerata.

Kativerata, who took Nagusa Junior to the Bulldogs camp, praised the young talent for his ability to listen to instructions. “Listening is a huge challenge for our players. When we take Under-16 and U17 players, they often don’t listen, but this kid, at just 14, is different. I have been monitoring him since he played in the Kaji competition,” he said.

NRL superstar Viliame Kikau is also offering guidance to Nagusa Junior, providing tips on schedules and the necessary dos and don’ts.

“When he returns, we will discuss his progress. He has the talent, and we need to nurture him carefully and gradually for him to shine,” said Kativerata.

Feedback: josua.buredua@fijisun.com.fj

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