The advice of Flying Fijian Seremaia Bai and sevens star, Jerry Tuwai changed the life of Highlanders squad member, Vereniki Tikoisolomone.
The 23-year-old left his home in Taveuni to chase his rugby dream, joining Bai’s academy, then making the national 7s squad in 2018 before securing contracts with the Wanganui and Taranaki Rugby clubs in New Zealand.
After a modest conversation with his father back in 2017, that helped him take the first step towards his rugby career.
Tikoisolomone says joining Bai’s academy opened many opportunities for him.
“I was so blessed to have been mentored by some of the knowledgeable mentors in rugby including Bai, Mr Vueti Tupou, Ben Soso. They taught me a lot of things that developed my skills.”
The wise words of sevens captain, Jerry Tuwai prompted him to take a leap of faith.
“I’ve always dreamt of becoming a professional rugby player. When the opportunity came, i spoke to Jerry about it, he said the white jersey will always be here, this opportunity is one in a lifetime and I stuck to that.”
Tikoisolomone joins fellow Fijians Vilimoni Koroi and Mosese Dawai in the Highlanders Super Rugby Pacific squad.