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Silktails fullback inspired by Kobe

There are two careers Mosese Qionimacawa is ‘building’ towards as part of the Fiji Kaiviti Silktails squad in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup.

The 27-year-old finished his Bachelor of Engineering degree at Suva’s University of the South Pacific last year. It’s his ‘Plan B’ if rugby league doesn’t work out.

But since being selected to travel to Sydney with the Silktails for the 2021 season, he’s hoping to cement a starting spot in the team each week and see where his chosen sport can take him.

The third eldest of five children, Qionimacawa played inside centre in rugby union and mainly halfback/five-eighth in league but has filled in at fullback for the Silktails past two games.

His 94kg, 186cm frame makes him taller and five kilograms heavier than most NRL five-eighths like Cody Walker, Jarome Luai and Cameron Munster.

“Actually, my friends back home in Fiji say they prefer me playing fullback but I don’t know,” Qionimacawa said.

“I like to play a running game and the coach has been helping me a lot with that.”

Surprisingly, his hero is not a football player but the late and great Los Angeles Lakers NBA star Kobe Bryant.

Qionimacawa is not a basketball player himself but liked the way Bryant held himself publicly, as well as his undoubted hoop skills.

“I like his mentality and how he approached his games,” he said. “I’ve been watching some of his motivational speeches.

“I think he’s the most disciplined NBA player I’ve seen. Once a reporter asked him if he ever took time off his busy schedule and Kobe said ‘No’.

“The reporter asked why not. And the thing that struck me was his answer: ‘When I retire, I won’t have any regrets’.”

That will be Qionimacawa’s mantra for 2021.

“I want every weekend to play well with my brothers on this team, putting in as much effort as I can so we can win this competition,” he said.

The Silktails’ participation in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup is proudly supported by the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports.

The NSWRL receives funding from the Australian Government through PacificAus Sports to support the Silktails’ participation in the NSWRL’s Ron Massey Cup.