Raiders honour winger Nadruku

Noa Nadruku at Namatakula Village in Nadroga yesterday. Picture: FILIPE MARAYAWA

The Canberra Raiders Rugby League club held its 40th Anniversary Gala last Saturday and commemorated its past players who contributed immensely to the club inducting four players to its Hall of Fame.

One notable name among those four is 54-year-old Namatakula, Nadroga, man Noa Nadruku.

He was unable to attend the Gala as he is currently in the country so his wife, Lola Nadruku, received the prestigious award on his behalf at Hotel Realm in Canberra.

Speaking to The Fiji Times from his village, Nadruku said he was moved with the gesture and was thankful for the opportunities he had with the club.

“I am thankful to the officials and management at the Raiders for selecting me to a part of their club, and now a member of their Hall of Fame. I am really grateful to be part of the Raiders family,” he said.

Nadruku said he had called the Canberra Raiders officials and informed them that he would be absent from the Gala.

“I knew I was not going to be able to receive the award as I am here in the country caught up in a family obligation so I asked my wife if she could receive it on my behalf and I am glad that she went. “I thank my wife and family for all their support.”

Nadruku made 92 appearances for the Canberra Raiders from 1993- 1997 scoring 73 tries.

He made a tremendous impact in his first season, scoring a club record 22 tries and being named ‘Dally M’ Winger of the Year.

After his stint with the Canberra side, he moved to the North-Queensland Cowboys for two seasons scoring 17 tries in 39 appearances.

Nadruku is expected to leave the country on tomorrow morning.

He also shared that clubs in the NRL are on the lookout for young women in Fiji who are keen on playing the sport.

“I have been speaking to officials at the Raiders who are planning to conduct trials in Fiji for young ladies who want to play rugby league.

“They are planning to scout these young girls with the prospect of taking them to Australia and being part of well-established clubs such as the West Tigers, North Queensland Cowboys,” he said.

“This would be a good opportunity for these girls to showcase their talents and possibly join clubs from there.”

With the Rugby League World Cup scheduled for later this year, Nadruku said the Fiji Bati team had made its presence felt at past world cups and should go in as underdogs.

“I believe that the Bati team have certainly proved themselves in past world cups and I know that the selectors will choose a good squad for the World Cup.

“I know that most of them are playing competitively in the NRL and it would be a huge honour for them to represent not only their country but their villages and families as well.”

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