Rising Rugby Star Timoci Nagusa Jnr’s Big Opportunity

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

The 14-year-old from Dratabu, Nadi, is determined to carve out his own legacy in rugby league, distancing himself from the record of his father, a former Flying Fijian.

Nagusa, a freshman in rugby league, has previously played in the Milo Kaji competition and is known for his competitive spirit. The Marist Brothers High School student holds the sub-junior boys’ shot put record with a throw of 15.04 meters and is a member of the school’s Under-14 rugby union team.

“Rugby league is a whole different game with unique styles and rules; it’s an eye-opener. Nothing is impossible if the mind is open and the heart is willing,” said Nagusa Junior.

“The NRL atmosphere is really ‘wowza’.”

His mother, Makereta Losalini Tuilevuka, described the Australian trip as a testament to the marvelous work of God in their lives.

“JJ (Timoci Nagusa Jnr) had no prior knowledge of the game, and I am amazed at the progress he has made. Canterbury Bulldogs have brought him in to test him, and he will return with a program to follow. He wants to be back before Saturday as his Marist U14 side is in the semi-final.”

Speaking from Sydney, Nagusa Jnr said, “I will take one opportunity at a time and work hard. The game is new to me, and I’ll need to get used to it. Mum has always been there for me, and I plan to make her proud.”

Born in Montpellier, France, Nagusa Jnr lived there for five years. Fiji Bati head coach Wise Kativerata initially spotted his talent.

Kativerata has taken Nagusa Jnr to the Bulldogs camp, noting the youngster’s attentiveness to instructions.

“Listening is a huge challenge for our players,” Kativerata said. “I’ve noticed Under-16 and U17 players often don’t listen, but this kid is just 14 and he’s good. I’ve been watching him closely since he played in the Kaji competition.”

NRL superstar Viliame Kikau is also assisting Nagusa Jnr with tips on schedules and the dos and don’ts of the game.

“When he returns, we will have a conversation. He has the talent, and we need to nurture him slowly and carefully for him to shine,” Kativerata said.

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