Byrne ‘proud of Simi’

FIJI Water Flying Fijian Simione Kuruvoli kicks a penalty against Australia at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint Etienne, France where Fiji beat the Wallabies 22-15. Picture: Martin Seras Lima

Really proud of Simi, says Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne. He said the FIJI Water Flying Fijians scrum-half Simione Kuruvoli was the one player that impressed him the most during our historic win against Australia at the Rugby World Cup pool C clash on Monday.

While talking to the Drua’s head of commercial and marketing Shane Hussein during the ‘Drua Talk’ podcast, he said Kuruvoli brought out his best.

“He delivered what we already know of him, probably surprised a few people,” he said.

Kuruvoli, who didn’t play a single minute for the Drua this season, following his shoulder injury in the national colours during the Flying Fijians end of the year tour in 2022, was selected by Simon Raiwalui to join the 2023 Rugby World Cup squad.

Known as ‘Little David’, Kuruvoli was the game changer against Australia where the 24-year-old slotted in four penalties and a conversion, tallying a total of 14 points.

“He has worked extremely hard and unfortunately for us this season, he wasn’t able to contribute on the field but off the field, he was great.”

Hussein and Bryne did have a conversation about how Kuruvoli started at fly-half for the Drua against Blues in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific match.

“He is a scrum-half but we think, he can play at 10 as well. “He has got great speed and has a good kicking game as well.

“Simi (Kuruvoli) can fit at 10 at any given time. What he did last week, made me really happy and proud and not surprised that he was able to deliver on that day, said Bryne.

He added that Kuruvoli worked very hard and never gave up.

“He took those opportunities and he was great overall.”

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