Ropate Rere is living the dream that many young Fijian boys have dreamt which is to don the white jersey with the coconut tree emblem.
From the village of Nagadoa, in the district of Dama in Bua, the second oldest of five siblings this 25-year-old never once gave up hope of playing for Fiji.
Appearing in local competitions year in and year out donning the colors of his village rugby team has finally paid, this young farmer is reaping the rewards of his hardwork and perseverance.
Bua rugby coach Josese Bolabasaga said it was not a surprise that the young man was in the national 7s after being consistent during the 2023 Vodafone Cup 15s series for Bua.
“Everyone who has been a part of this young man’s development, people who know his journey and have watched him over the years know that this selection was a long time coming,” Bolabasaga said.
Ropate attended Dama District School and then completed his high school education at Bua Central College, played club rugby for his village side, Kuiniwailevu Rugby Club helping them win the U19 trophy at the Jezreel 7s tournament in Taveuni in 2017.
“He is a rare find. Never once has he questioned instructions given about training schedules, he’s the prime example of someone who is a quiet achiever.
“In a room full of boisterous young men, you will find Ropate working quietly in the background, keeping to himself.”
Ropate joins an outstanding list of rugby players like the late Seru Rabeni, Rupeni Caucau, William Ryder, Suliasi Vunivalu, Vilive Miramira and amongst others who hail from Bua.
Rere was part of the Fiji 7s team that won the Gold Medal at the 2023 Pacific Games.