Sefa Naivalu


One of the original NRC stars, Fijian-born ‘Super Sefa’ Naivalu became the first Dewar Shield player to sign for the Melbourne Rebels. Naivalu overcame a broken leg in 2015 and a delayed 2016 Super Rugby start to push his claims for national selection with five tries for the Rebels in as many games at the back end of the tournament. While firmly on coach Michael Cheika’s radar Naivalu had to bide his time for Wallaby selection until September when his three-year eligibility period would be satisfied. Once eligible Naivalu was immediately picked in the matchday 23 for the Rugby Championship match against South Africa in Pretoria.


Naivalu won his first Test cap off the bench against to South Africa in Pretoria. He picked up a further five Test caps over the rest of the season including his first start against France in Paris.

Naivalu scored two tries before he suffered an ankle injury in his lone Test against Italy at Brisbane. On his return to rugby with the Melbourne Rising in the NRC Naivalu was forced off with a shoulder injury that subsequently required surgery to end any hope he had of featuring in the remainder of The Rugby Championship or the Spring Tour.