Rokoduguni dedicates try to his fellow soldiers
Rokoduguni dedicated his try on Remembrance Day to all of the British Armed Forces currently touring and, in particular, to his own regiment, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
The serving soldier replaced Mike Brown after just 22 minutes of England’s 21-8 win over Argentina at Twickenham on Saturday, taking up a spot on the wing as fellow Bath man Anthony Watson shifted to full-back.
Although a disjointed team display did not provide much scope for him to showcase his explosive running ability, the 30-year-old did latch on to a pass from Henry Slade to score England’s second try.
Afterwards, Rokoduguni admitted that the occasion had felt especially poignant. During the minute’s silence that foreshadowed kick-off, his thoughts had turned to Army colleagues. “It’s a special day for me; an honour and a privilege for me to be part of the team,” he said.
“But to get over and score a try as well, on Remembrance Day, that means a lot, too.
“For me, it is about going out there and representing the Army as a whole, all the guys who have been there before us and those boys who are serving right now.
“It is an honour and a privilege to represent the Armed Forces. A couple of my mates have been through quite a hard time, even in the regiment. Some of the guys were casualties, so for me to be out there representing them made it an emotional day for me.
“A few of my Scottish boys phoned up and said, ‘Congrats mate, I can’t believe we’ve been cheering for England!’ I dedicate my try and the win to my regiment and the boys out there.”
Outlining that he remains “a soldier first, a rugby player second”, L/cpl Rokoduguni revealed that he visited his regiment’s base in Leuchars, Scotland, during the summer to familiarise himself with the Jackal armoured vehicle.
He was clearly proud to represent both England and his Fijian family on a day that the country recognised the Armed Forces. “It’s showing support for those guys who are doing that hard graft,” he said. “I was actually thinking about my dad who was in the Army too, but he was in the Fijian Army, not the British Army.
“For me to get to where I am now, when I think back, it was all about the hard graft he put in for us as a family. That enabled us to live like this and enjoy our life.” A record of three Test tries in three appearances over three years epitomises both the stop-start nature of Rokoduguni’s England career and his sharp instincts as a finisher. But he vowed to “keep banging on the door” in training.
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