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By Western Force Media Unit
Australian Sevens star Junior Rasolea has signed with the Emirates Western Force for the 2013 and 2014 FxPro Super Rugby seasons.
The livewire inside/outside centre has been a regular with the Aussie Thunderbolts in the abridged version of the game, after he was recruited by national coach Michael O’Connor prior to the 2011 Gold Coast Sevens.
The hard-running, ball-carrying midfielder was spotted playing for newSTAR, an academy side that upset the Thunderbolts in the grand final of the Noosa International Sevens, with Rasolea’s performance seeing him immediately drafted into the national side. The former Queensland Schoolboy representative went on to start in five of seven games at the Gold Coast event.
The former Anglican Church Grammar School student, who started in the centres for Fiji during their best-placed finish (sixth) at his second IRB Junior World Championship in 2011, says it was another graduate from his alma mater that helped form his decision to join the Emirates Western Force.
“I went to Churchie in Brisbane which was the same high school as David Pocock,” he said. “I remember seeing clips of him at school playing inside centre; he was a star and someone I looked up to. I’ve seen how players like him and James O’Connor have developed and what they’ve gone onto after starting with the Force and it seemed like the best place for me to develop my rugby.”
The 21-year-old says he’s keen to begin staking his claim for his FxPro Super Rugby debut.
“My goal is to make the 22 but the biggest thing is to have some input into the team, developing the team and developing my own game,” he said. “Sevens has been great for my development and I’m looking forward to bringing a lot of those skills – such as counter attacking – with me.”
RugbyWA CEO Vern Reid says Rasolea is an exciting young prospect for the Emirates Western Force in 2013.
“Junior’s already demonstrated that he’s a player with a lot of potential,” he said. “He has good size and strength for a young player and has coupled that with the dynamic pace and evasiveness that we’ve seen from many of the top-line players with Fijian heritage.
“Junior’s another player who’s benefited from coming through the Sevens pathway but has shown through his time with the Fiji Under 20’s and the University club in Brisbane that he has a considerable amount to offer in the 15-a-side game.
“We’re very pleased announce Junior and Sias Ebersohn as the first of several new signings for the Emirates Western Force for the 2013 season.”
Name: Solomoni ‘Junior’ Rasolea
Representative Rugby: 2011–2012 Australian Sevens, 2010–2011 Fiji Under 20, 2008–2009 Queensland Schoolboys, 2007 Queensland Under 16s
Qantas Australian Sevens player Shannon Walker will play his first tournament in over a year when he lines up for the National Indigenous side at this weekend’s National Sevens Championships in Narrabeen, Sydney.