Eroni Tuwai's Bio
Eroni Tuwai Life and Career Highlights.
Growing up in Korolevu, a remote Fijian village in the Navosa Highlands, jetting off to distant lands on international rugby contracts was just a distant dream for the young Eroni Tuwai. But that didn’t stop the youngster from developing into a formidable rugby talent — a talent that, through a lucky turn of events, would get noticed by international selectors from Australia.
That turn of events would happen in 2015, when international League legends Brad Fittler and Andrew Johns were touring Fiji and witnessed Tuwais playing for the Coastline Roos, a Rugby League Club from the Nadroga-Navosa province of Fiji.
At this stage, the nineteen-year-old Eroni Tuwai had only been playing league for two short years, having grown up playing rugby union as a young boy. But his talent and adaptability allowed him to make a rapid transformation, winning the respect of local and international players — especially Fittler and Johns.
The result of this chance encounter with Fittler and Johns resulted in a three-month development contract with the U20 Canterbury Bulldogs from the Australian National Rugby League (NRL). This provided Tuwai with the launch pad to an international career and, by July 2015, just a few short months after securing his Australian contract, he had been picked up by yet another international team.
This time, Eroni Tuwai would make a return to playing the league format of the game, when he and fellow Fijian Jone Waqaliva were picked up by the Bordeaux Bègles Rugby Club in France. Together, the pair joined the club junior development team (the “Espoirs”), where they would both remain until 2017.
By the 2017-18 season, Eroni Tuwai had turned further heads in France, resulting in a move to Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne. Here he would spend another year in the Espoir team before getting called up to the senior Pro D2 side at the start of the 2018-19 season.
It didn’t take long for Tuwai to make a big impression upon making his senior debut either and, in his first game against Biarritz, he landed the try that sealed the victory for the Aurillacois. Unfortunately, the following season would be cut short by the outbreak of Covid. Following Tuwai’s stay at Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne, Tuwai then moved to Sarlat Rugby Team, competing in the French Fédérale 2 championships.
Over his years as a rising Fijian rugby star, Tuwai has developed a reputation for being a winger who combines an explosive turn of speed with the ability to make brushing off opposing defenders look easy. This he combines with an ever-present smile that not only expresses his friendly nature, but also the joy he finds playing on the rugby field.
The past season marks Tuwai’s second full season with the Sarlat Rugby Team. The team’s current objective is clear: to climb the ranks over the years to come. And taking Sarlat’s name and reputation, and their love of the sport of rugby to the professional divisions! The team also plans to open a training center, building on, and building up, the potential of its local talent roster, trained up from their earliest years within the club.
Sarlat Rugby recently finished its first season without a single loss since the club’s founding back in 1903, with a perfect 22 wins for 22 games played. The addition of players like Lucas Caneda, Hemani Paea, Ikapote Fono and Dato Okriashvili has turned a team that used to used to play the bottom brackets into a contender qualified for the French Federal 2 championship finals and a brand that has secured a global following, with new fans hailing from every corner of the world.
This performance on the field has attracted the attention of big sports brands like Samurai. Based just across the channel in the U.K., Samurai Sportswear is a leading international kit supplier to sporting clubs from Australia and New Zealand to the English Premiership Rugby division. And, in it has been doing so for the last 25 years. And, in 2021, Samurai came onboard as Sarlat Rugby Team’s new kit supplier.
When word that Samurai Sportswear would potentially become the new kit sponsor for the team first spread, there was more than a little enthusiasm from some of the players. The current kit at the time left quite a lot to be desired. And, while not everyone knew who Samurai was at first, many players did.
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