What keeps ‘The Bus’ Mov­ing

mailife - - Contents - Josua Tuisova

MANY Fiji lo­cals re­fer to him as Josua ‘The Bus’ Tuisova and in France he is re­garded the ‘hu­man bull­dozer’ be­cause of his abil­ity to bull­doze his way through op­po­nents with un­matched phys­i­cal­ity on the rugby field. Josua Tuisova Rat­ulevu, the 23 year old Vo­tua vil­lager from Ba, plays wing or cen­tre for the Fly­ing Fi­jians. He cur­rently plays for the Toulon­nais Rugby Club in France where he is based. “I have been play­ing for Toulon­nais in France for four years now and have an­other three years to go,” Tuisova said. In the re­cent game be­tween the Fly­ing Fi­jians and Scot­land that Fiji won, 27 points to 22 at the ANZ Sta­dium in Suva, fans were on the look­out for The Bus. They watched him make some bone crunch­ing tack­les while po­si­tioned as wing. Fans could be heard go­ing ‘boom!’ every time Tuisova, who weighs 108 kilo­grams, tack­led an op­po­nent. It was ev­i­dent many fans were there to wit­ness The Bus in ac­tion. A former stu­dent of Xavier Col­lege in Ba, Tuisova said he had played soccer all his life since pri­mary school at Vo­tua. “I have al­ways been a soccer freak be­cause I grew up in the soccer mad town of Ba and play­ing rugby was far from my mind.” Go­ing to town most Satur­days to watch the rugby tour­na­ment held at Ba Mar­ket Grounds, Tuisova had a change of heart for the oval ball game. Like some peo­ple who catch on quickly just by see­ing how things are done, af­ter all those Satur­days be­ing a spec­ta­tor at the grounds made it an easy switch for Tuisova. He be­gan his rugby ca­reer in Fiji play­ing for top lo­cal 7s side West­field Bar­bar­ians in Nadi, which was cap­tained by his older brother and former Fiji 7s player Pio Tuwai. He made his in­ter­na­tional debut for Fiji in the 2013 Welling­ton 7s play­ing against Scot­land as a rover. Tuisova has also won an Olympic Gold medal as part of the Fiji 7s team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. De­spite hav­ing to live and train abroad, Tuisova al­ways has the heart to rep­re­sent Fiji when he gets the chance to do so. “I will never for­get my homeland no mat­ter where I am in the world. Fiji will al­ways be home – where I grew up and had my hum­ble be­gin­ning,” Tuisova said. He holds on tight to the fact that his be­gin­nings in Fiji are the rea­son be­hind his suc­cess.

In re­al­ity an ex­tremely shy per­son, maiL­ife had to con­vince The Bus to agree to an in­ter­view when we trav­elled miles to reach his home in Namosau, Ba. Tuisova strove hard to pur­chase the fam­ily home for his par­ents - Dad Isikeli Rat­ulevu and Mum Lu­sia Vodo – to live, along with his two nieces, while he works and lives abroad. His Mum thanked God for bless­ing three of his four sons with rugby tal­ent. “I never dreamt rugby would take them this far,” Mrs Rat­ulevu said. Tuisova’s elder broth­ers are Pio Tuwai, who now lives in New Zealand and Filipo Nakosi, who plays rugby in France. Tuisova has an­other older brother, Ti­moci, and an older sis­ter, Salani­eta. Like many great sports­men who have had an icon to in­spire them, The Bus never had to look far. “I have al­ways looked up to Vereniki Goneva, who cur­rently plays for News­cas­tle Fal­cons in the English Pre­mier­ship Rugby Cham­pi­onship back in the United King­dom,” Tuisova said. “I used to watch Goneva play when I was young and I ad­mired his hu­mil­ity. Goneva also rep­re­sented Fiji in two rugby world cups in 2011 and 2015, so he is a great player.” Tuisova got to play against his idol Goneva dur­ing the Marist 7s tour­na­ment in 2013. “He played for Ya­ma­cia while I played for West­field Bar­bar­ians and I was ner­vous dur­ing this match,” Tuisova said. But lead­ing up to the Fly­ing Fi­jians’ match against Italy and Scot­land in June, Tuisova and Goneva were in the same squad. “I felt re­ally good to train with Goneva as he teaches me a lot,” he said.

“Too bad we didn’t get a chance to play to­gether be­cause Goneva played dur­ing the match against Italy and I didn’t and then I got to play against Scot­land and he was rest­ing.” The game against Scot­land on June 24 was Tuisova’s debut match for Fiji in the 15’s code. “I felt re­ally proud be­ing part of the Fly­ing Fi­jians for these test matches – and most im­por­tantly we won both home games.” On his re­cent trip home in June, Tuisova tied the knot with his sweet­heart Tarusila Ravou­vou in a civil cer­e­mony that caught many of his fans off guard – they found out on social me­dia. Tarusila who is from Sau­naka in Nadi re­vealed she met The Bus dur­ing his days play­ing rugby for West­field Bar­bar­ians. Full of hu­mour and with a bub­bly per­son­al­ity, Tarusila said they started out as friends and their re­la­tion­ship de­vel­oped from that. “Tuisova is a very shy per­son and he pro­posed to me through social me­dia by writ­ing a very ro­man­tic piece on Face­book mes­sen­ger and that got to me – I just had to say yes,” she said. Tuisova has since re­turned to France with his wife Tarusila.

Josua ‘the bus’ Tuisova in Namosau, Ba.

Josua Tuisova, his mum Lu­sia, his Dad Isikeli and his older brother Filipo Nakosi at their home in Vu­tuni, Ba dur­ing one of his re­cent visit.

Tuisova pos­ing at the Ba Bus Stand. Tuisova re­lax­ing in Vu­tuni, Ba.

Tuisova and his older brother Filipo Nakosi at their home in Vu­tuni, Ba.

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