England have named some uncapped players in their 23 man match day squad for the match against the All Blacks on Saturday. One of those caps is the electrifying winger from Bath, Semesa Rokoduguni. Born in Fiji, Rokoduguni qualifies for England through serving in the British Army for the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
Being familiar with battle fields, Saturday will be a whole different war for Rokoduguni if he does indeed make his first start against none other then the All Blacks. Talking about his time in the army in comparison to rugby he was quoted as saying “When you’re out on the rugby field and get something wrong..you can always put it right.. But out in Afghanistan you can’t afford to make mistakes” A chilling sentiment, but very true.
At the age of 19 he left home to serve in the Army, whilst playing in the army he took up rugby sevens. He eventually moved on to the fifteen a side game and had a chance to showcase his talent at Twickenham whilst playing for the Army in 2011 and 2012. These performances allowed his talent to shine through and Bath were made aware of him in 2012. After a two week trial, he was offered a contract and the rest is history having been consistent performer over the past two years, ever improving his game.
Last season he beat more defenders than anyone in the Premiership and not only that, he is thunderous in defence. This is helped by him packing on more than 3 stone since he joined Bath, he is now certainly a force to be reckoned with. Premiership rugby is another world away from the standard of army rugby according to Rokodoguni. “In the Army, if a pass didn’t go to hand… people accepted that.. In the Premiership.. mistakes cost you games”. Seemingly this maturity and willingness to learn have helped him settle in and become an established, and well respected Premiership Rugby player.
When the starting line-up is announced for Saturday, Rokoduguni is expected to start. If he is able to show the form he has shown for Bath in his time there, England have a very exciting, and reliable winger in their midst. It is such an incredible story, lets see if it has a fairy tale ending come the World Cup next year.
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