Rugby players to honour fallen coach, Rasiga
The rugby fraternity mourns the passing away of Red Rock rugby sevens head coach, Lote Rasiga. The Qauia-based businessman was renowned for mentoring many of the country’s top rugby players like Olympic gold medal winner Jasa Veremalua and Crusaders winger Jone Macilai. “Lote was like a father to many of us,” said former national rugby sevens and Vodafone Fijian Bati winger, Lagilagi Golea. “We always stay at his home and he looked after us along with his family. It was just like our own home. Lote and his wife always advised us on how to become good role models and ways to develop our sporting talents. Lote had a heart of gold and he shared everything with us even his wealth.” Golea said from his sea products exporting business Rasiga was able to support them and finance the team not only to play in local tournaments but overseas as well. “With Lote, I’ve played for Red Rock in the Cobra 10s in Malaysia and the Cayman 7s in the Caribbean,” he added. From Paris, former national rugby sevens star winger Sireli Bobo went on Facebook to express his shock when told of Rasiga’s death, saying that he will miss his former coach who had mentored him. Golea said Rasiga always kept a low profile and his work had seen the rise of many of the country’s top rugby players. “He (Rasiga) would never miss any small sevens tournament around the country where he would go and watch. If he identifies a player, he would approach and invite them to join the club.
“If the player agrees he would give his bus fare and he always make sure to pick them up from the bus stand. Lote would groom them to become better players and he has been doing this for almost two decades.” Golea said over the years players who have excelled in sevens and rugby league under Rasiga’s guidance were, Bobo, Niumaia Cakacaka, Aporosa Daunivucu, Suli Wainivanua, Timoci Matanavou (now playing for Toulouse), Lepani Nabuliwaqa, Ponipate Kato, Manasa Bola, Manoa Qerea, Luke Waikamakama (playing in US), Venasio Komai (now coaching in Dubai), Eroni Sau, Roger Qoro, Sirilo Dasi and the list goes on. “For many of us there will be no coach like Lote. Like I said before he was a father to us and some of the players he was the only father they have ever known and we will all surely miss him.” Rasiga is survived by his wife and their five children. Golea has called on all former Red Rock players now residing in Ba, Tavua, Lautoka and Nadi to contact him on 9383703 so they could meet and make their way to Qauia to present their i-reguregu. Edited by Paula Tuvuki