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Throwback Thursday | Eloni Vunakece

Wyong Roos enforcer Eloni Vunakece quickly became a Rugby League cult hero when he made his first-grade debut as a 28-year-old with the Sydney Roosters in 2016. 

Subsidising his income as a professional footballer with work as a garbage collector, Vunakece burst onto the NRL scene as a brut front-rower who crafted trade with Wyong in the Canterbury Cup NSW. 

Vunakece was a key cog in the Roos' two Grand Final appearances in 2015 and 2017 respectively, although enduring heart-breaking defeats on both occasions to the Knights and Panthers. 

He built a reputation as being a fearless front-rower who worked tirelessly on either side of the ball, and thus earned 15 appearances for Fiji between 2013-2018. 

He also enjoying a lengthy tenure with French team Toulouse Olympique in the Elite One Championship, recording 41 appearances. 

The barnstorming forward was unfortunately forced into retirement after suffering 10 suspected concussions within a 12-month period, but can be proud of the Rugby League career he forged over a long period of time. 

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