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Rugby is now a family affair for women playing at provincial and international levels.

The introduction of the women’s rugby competition in provincial teams through the ANZ Marama Championship and the Royal Tea Ranadi Cup has proven to be fruitful in terms of breeding and attracting siblings to be part of rugby.

Women have earned the respect and support after the Fijiana Women’s 7s team scooped the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games last year and the Rooster Fijiana Drua won the Super W Championship in Australia a few months ago.

These achievements skyrocketed the interest of women in rugby and attracted many young talents to join the sport. However, an exciting yet unfamiliar trend is to see the interest where siblings follow each other and support one another on the rugby field.

Its common amongst the men’s team as we’ve heard of the famous Rauluni brothers, Jacob and Mosese, then Josua Tuisova and Filipo Nakosi, Tiko Matawalu and Akapusi Qera, the Naevo brothers and many more overseas and local rugby teams. However, in the women’s competition, as rugby continues to develop and attract more players, the same trend can be seen in provincial teams.

For instance, Karalaini Naisewa and Keleni Marawa played for Lautoka before they joined the Fijiana Drua team. Fijiana 7s team squad member Ivamere Nabura plays for Nadroga women’s team before joining the national 7s squad and her elder sister Fulori Nabura who is part of the Fijiana XVs training squad for the Womens Rugby World Cup and plays for Suva women’s team. Veteran Fijiana rep Merevesi Fuga Ofakimalino and her sister Elina Taoba are currently part of the Fijiana XVs squad and they play for Suva rugby club and the Railumu sisters who play for the Tailevu womens rugby team.

These are some siblings playing in the ANZ Marama Championship and have made it through to the national level and it was through the determination of one sibling that attracted the attention and interest of another to take on rugby.

Fijiana 7s playmaker, Ivamere Nabura has something to play for, and seeing her older siblings making a name for themselves in the rugby arena boosted her morale and inspired her to commit to rugby.

“Watching my big sister playing rugby and excelling through the sport and my brothers as well made me fall in love with the sport,” said Nabura.

“I believe that rugby can change our way and since my inclusion into the national team, I have been able to support my family.
“Just watching the older siblings play rugby has also persuaded me to take on the sport and I opted to leave school for the time being and commit myself to rugby because this is where I can change my life.

‘It was through the motivation of my siblings that helped me pursue my goals in rugby and that is to be part of the Fijiana 7s team.’
The initiative and commitment of one sibling have boosted the morale of another to join the sport of rugby and to date, Women’s rugby in Fiji is one of the fastest-growing sports in the Oceania region.

The ANZ Marama Championship and the Royal Tea Ranadi Cup have proven to be an ideal platform for changing the view of women’s rugby to a respected competition that deserves recognition and respect from the public, especially with the achievements that have been accomplished by our national team in overseas rugby competitions.

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