Roko­duguni ded­i­cates try to his fel­low sol­diers

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport | Rugby Union -

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.

Clin­i­cal: Semesa Roko­duguni scored as a re­place­ment

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.