Young Kobanalagi Finds Inspiration in Brother’s Rugby Career Success

Press Release Posted On: July 2, 2024

Josateki Kobanalagi

As a child, Josateki Kobanalagi saw the passion his elder brother had for rugby, and he knew that was the same pathway he would follow someday.

Kobanalagi, a student at the Fiji National University’s Natabua Campus in Lautoka developed that same passion over the years and is now grateful to where it has brought him.

He is a second-year student in the Bachelor of Sports Education and Exercise Science programme, under FNU’s College of Humanities and Education.

His brother, Fijian Drua Fullback, Ilaisa Droasese was the main reason Kobanalagi’s interest in rugby grew.

He hails from the Village of Togovere in Tuva, Nadroga, but currently resides in the Tikina of Vuda.

“Famous names in rugby were born out of the Tikina of Vuda, and they were people like Samu Kerevi, Henry Speight, Dan Rawaqa, Ifereimi Rawaqa, Jiuta Wainiqolo, and the list goes on,” he said.

“I was inspired by this and also by my brother who currently plays for the Fijian Drua, and being a big fan of watching rugby league since I was a small kid, were some things that contributed to building my interest in the sport of rugby.”

He works as the Interim Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Kaiviti Silktails Rugby League Club in Lautoka.

Meanwhile, Kobanalagi said being enrolled in the programme at FNU has profoundly impacted his rugby career, equipping him with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills essential for athletic performance.

“The programme’s emphasis on leadership and teamwork has also enhanced my strategic thinking and communication skills on the field,” he said.

“I aim to work in the field of sports in whatever role is given since my goal is to try out all the available options offered and have a knowledge of where to develop my understanding.”

He added that after completing this programme, he hopes to see more support and resources for aspiring rugby players in Fiji.

“This includes better training facilities, access to advanced sports science, and comprehensive development programmes,” Kobanalagi highlighted.

“I am committed to giving back by sharing my knowledge and experience with the next generation of athletes.

He advices those who have dreams of pursuing the same programme, to take the opportunity now.

“To those aspiring to join the sport of rugby and pursue this programme at FNU, my advice is to embrace this journey with passion and dedication; rugby is more than just a sport, it’s a test of character, resilience, and teamwork,” he added.

“At FNU, you’ll receive the education that integrates sports science, physical training, and leadership development, all of which will prepare you for the challenges on and off the field.”

Kobanalagi also shared sentiments of the help received from the Head of Performance for the Kaiviti Silktails Rugby League Club, Vanavasa Niuqila for providing him the opportunity to work alongside him and learn in the big world of sports, locally and internationally.