On a recent trip to Melbourne over the weekend, injured Kaiviti Silktails Hooker and Sydney Roosters Development Player Iobe Taukeisalili visited the grave of our late Football Manager Jacqueline Shannon.
The 20 year old from Namosi spoke of his sadness in losing the clubs General Manager, being part of the 2022 squad that took to the field to play the Mounties less than 24 hours after they lost their manager to a brain aneurism.
“Jacquie was like a second mother to all of us. Being in Australia for the first time during the COVID Pandemic, she was the only mother figure we had during that period. I’ll never forget playing the next day as it was surreal but we knew that was what Jacquie would have wanted us to do” said the 20 year old.
“I lost my mother when I was in year 2 at school, so I know what it is like to lose someone you love at such a young age. I can’t be in Fiji for her Memorial Game this weekend so I felt I needed to come visit her here in Melbourne.”
Taukeisalili, along with fellow contracted Silktails Player Watisoni Waqanisaravi, are residing in Sydney with the Clubs Executive Director Stephen Driscoll where he has been rehabilitating from shoulder surgery sustained during pre-season with the Sydney Roosters.
The “pocket rocket” hooker from Sigatoka Methodist College will return for the Roosters in a Development Match against the Parramatta Eels on July 23.
“The plan is to get through the Development Game against the Eels and should my form warrant it, be in contention with the Silktails should we make finals or the Roosters Jersey Flegg team in the later rounds.” said Taukeisalili.
Sydney Roosters Physio Chrissy Ouzas said Iobe’s rehab has been a success despite the uniqueness of the situation, having completed his rehab in both Australia and Fiji.
“Iobe did the early critical phases in Australia with myself post surgery, returned to Fiji under the guidance of Silktails Physio Sio Dickinson for the strengthening phase of his rehab, and then returned to Australia to begin his return to the contact phase of his rehabilitation.” said Ouzas.
Taukeisalili will make his long awaited return to the field on July 23 against the Parramatta Eels in Sydney.