There was a time when new Fiji 7s rep Filipo Bukayaro thought he wouldn’t make it far in rugby because of his size.
The nippy halfback from Natewa village in Cakaudrove caught the eyes of national selectors after some impressive performance for Dominion Brothers and Army in the local scene.
Bukayaro featured for Ratu Kadavulevu School with Jiuta Wainiqolo in 2017 when they won the Under-18 Deans title.
When he made the final side, Wainiqolo congratulated him and told his schoolmate to work even harder.
The 22-year-old was one of the two new players selected for the Spain 7s but the side didn’t travel after some players and management tested positive for COVID-19.
Bukayaro says now he knows that size doesn’t matter if you’re committed to your goals and sacrifice to get there.
“In my first year at RKS, they announced that a squad of 16 will make up a sevens team for a competition in Australia. Word had it that the set of 16 had already been identified but that did not stop me from attending the trials. I also did not let my size discourage me from trying out, instead it gave me motivation. The first time I entered the national camp, I was really nervous. But I made it my commitment to pray and be true to my training.”
The youngster has maternal links to Lavena in Taveuni and attended Wainikeli District School before joining Natewa Primary School.
He went to Nasinu Secondary School and then RKS.
Bukayaro adds his dad is his role model and greatest supporter.
The second of six siblings says Jerry Tuwai is his best player and it was a memorable moment for him to train with the dual Olympic gold medalist when he joined camp.
Bukayaro scored a try in Army’s 24-7 win against Dominion Brothers this morning.
In other results, Wadigi Salvo 5-26 Heart Barbarians, Police Blue 27-0 Devo Babas, Ratu Filise 17-7 Uluinakau, Raiwasa Taveuni 17-5 Nawaka, Fire 14-7 Police White,Army 24-7 Dominion Brothers, Heart Barbarians 12-17 Daveta.