Cinema sesh delivers Naivalu's good news

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The title of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film is ‘Dead Men Tell no Tales’, but Wallabies winger Sefa Naivalu lived to tell a pretty great one last Tuesday night.

Naivalu took himself to the action flick the same night that the June Series squad was to be announced, hoping to avoid any disappointment should his name not be called.

“I was kind of worried, if I was sitting there in front of the TV and then my name didn’t  come up, I’d be kind of like ‘Oh, my name didn’t come up’. I was really nervous,” he said.

“That’s why I just looked online and thought I’d go and watch the Pirates of the Caribbean.

“In the middle of the movie, i picked my phone up and see all these messages saying ‘congratulations’.

“I was over the moon.”

Don’t ask him how the film ends, though, because that’s where things get a little hazy.

“I did (keep watching) but my head wasn’t focusing on the movie, I was just like my heart was really pumping,” he said.

Sefa Naivalu knows there's going to be tough competition. Photo: WalmsleyNow he’s officially in the squad, Naivalu has plenty of competition for one of the spots in the 23, in an extra special clash against his native Fiji.

“I think every match is very special to me, especially playing against a Fiji team, My native country,” he said.

“It’ll be a really exciting game if I get selected and given that opportunity to play against them and I think it would be really mean a lot.”

He’s not the only one vying for a chance to play against his home country, with Fijian wingers Marika Koroibete, Henry Speight and Eto Nabuli all among the squad.

Speight has been arguably the form winger in Australian Super Rugby but it’s Naivalu’s Rebels teammate Koroibete who is shaping as another frontrunner.

Naivalu said he had been impressed with Koroibete's development since making the switch from rugby league ahead of last year's Spring Tour.

“My first time I’ve seen Marika in the club, he’s been learning a lot,” he said.

“From the Spring Tour last year and then getting into the Super Rugby season, he’s just outstanding week by week, he’s been improving his game and knowledge and skills.

“He’s one of the X-Factors in the team.”

The Wallabies take on Fiji on Saturday afternoon, kicking off at 3pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.