The Kaiviti Silktails are celebrating having four players named in the 24-man Fiji Bati squad this week for the Rugby League World Cup starting on 15 October.
Up against the might of NRL and Super League clubs, four players who started their careers as Silktails players in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup are now at international level.
Front rower-lock Jowasa Drodrolagi, centre Pio Seci, hooker-halfback Penioni Tagituimu, and wing-centre Vuate Karawalevu (main picture above).
Seci and Tagituimu have already played seven Tests for Fiji between them, but Drodrolagi and Karawalevu are on debut.
“It’s a proud moment for our club to see four of our former players named for the World Cup,” Silktails Executive Director Steve Driscoll said.
“All of them have taken different paths to get to this point, back from their earlier days playing junior club and secondary school football in Fiji.
“When something like this happens it’s always a nice moment for those who have watched and guided them along their respective jerseys. As a club we’re especially happy for their families because we know there have been sacrifices.”
The Silktails played both the 2021 season (until COVID cancelled the competition in July) and 2022 seasons while based in Sydney, leaving behind partners, children and parents.
Drodrolagi is a Kaiviti Silktails foundation member of the 2020 squad. He moved to France to play Rugby League later that year after the Australian competitions shut down.
The 2021 RLWC will be Drodolagi’s second representative jersey. He was named in the Fiji Prime Minister’s XIII to play Australia in Suva in 2019.
Seci has played Tests for Fiji (three) previously and was a member of the Silktails 2021 squad.
He also played in France before returning to Australia to sign with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, playing the majority of 2022 with the Blacktown Workers in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup.
But in Round 20 Seci became the first Silktails player to make his NRL playing on the wing against the Roosters at Brookvale’s Four Pines Oval.
Tagituimu is also a 2020 foundation player, who then went on to captain the Silktails team in 2021.
He trained with the North Sydney Bears in NSW Cup side that season, before moving to the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs in 2022, where he played in their NSW Cup feeder team Mounties.
Karawalevu made his debut in the 2021 Silktails squad at the age of 18. He played both Ron Massey Cup and Jersey Flegg last year picking up the Silktails ‘Rising Star’ award.
This year he played Jersey Flegg for the Roosters and NSW Cup for the North Sydney Bears, as well as one game for the Silktails during a bye round for the Roosters. He scored seven tries in six games for the Bears and was just as devastating for the tricolours with 13 tries in 15 games.
A former Fiji Rugby Union U23s squad member, Karawalevu is now a fulltime member of the Sydney Roosters NRL squad after only two seasons in Rugby League.
The Silktails’ participation in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup is proudly supported by the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports.
The NSWRL receives funding from the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports to support the Silktails’ participation in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup.