Rugby play­ers to hon­our fallen coach, Rasiga

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - LEONE CABENATABUA Feed­back: leonec@ fi­jisun.com.fj

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

Lote Rasiga.

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