My name is
Inoke “Junior” Waqavesi. I was born in Sacramento,
California, United States. I’m 18 years old
and I practice rugby. My dream is to make it
to the Olympic Games. (JUNIOR IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S
a really hard-working guy. He’s like a coach on the field. If you need help,
or if you’re lost, or anything, Junior’s the person
you can go to. He may look like
he’s getting tired, but he doesn’t get tired.
Junior doesn’t get tired. If you watch him, he’s just
an absolutely amazing player. He has the best footwork
I’ve seen in a while. Rugby sevens, for the US,
is growing in popularity. I believe, as time goes on,
that popularity will grow and the sport will be big
within the US, and hopefully one day become
as important as the top three
sports in the US. Folau Niua is probably
one person I really look up to. He’s taught me a lot at
the recent camps I’ve been to here,
at Chula Vista, and he’s really been
like a role model to me, showing me the ins and outs
of the system, the type of system
we play here at USA Rugby. Well, to me it’s a blessing
for someone to say that. I’m just a guy who loves
playing the game, rugby. It’s been an honour
and a blessing for somebody to say that to me. He’s the future, right here,
we’re looking at. My man right here. You know, Folau is
a senior player he’s been around the circuit
for a very long time now. And he’s really a talisman
for our team. When he plays well,
when his restarts are on point, the team plays well.
He’s our playmaker. We see Junior and that
next step for him will be to emulate Folau and to
emulate the great play makers in the circuit, as well. I started playing
controlled rugby at the age of 11… ..but rugby has always been
a part of my life since I can remember. My father was a rugby coach. He’s always coached me
throughout my life, starting in elementary school,
pre-school days, until I graduated high school. I found out rugby
was my passion when I started to become
more serious. I would say middle school
into high school. That’s when I decided,
when I found out I was actually pretty good
at the game, and so I wanted to make it
more than a hobby for me. I would say my strength is the ability to make plays
on the field. I would keep my defender
and I’d throw the ball, to open up space
to someone outside and help my team win. He’s our captain. We all voted
and think he should be captain, because we all think he has
what it takes, and this has been…about
his fourth camp here. And he just has that knowledge
and that rugby IQ, that skill level that we need
to follow, as a leader. He leads by example –
he doesn’t say much, but when he does speak,
the boys do listen, and they see him as a talisman
for the team. His ability to mix up the speed
of the game, to manipulate defenders I think he’s got a good
stop-and-go, good acceleration. He’s able to
manipulate defenders, attack spaces that bring
the defenders towards him and then move the ball
to another space. Go, Junior! Go! Go! Junior understands
the importance of tempo. The ability to push the game
a little bit quicker, and it’s something
I’m really proud of in Junior and something I know our national sevens programme
see in him, as well. I just tend to look for
weaknesses in my opponents’ game plan. Such as which defender
can’t tackle as good and where there’s open spaces
in the back or… ..where I can attack to…
give my team the advantage. Whenever I win a match,
I’m always… I’d say I’m quite humble
about it, because… yeah, you won a match, but you’ll always have
another match after that, and even if it’s
a championship game, you would always focused
on the next season. When I lose matches,
it’s quite defeating. You would just have
to take it for what it is. Not blame anybody and point
any fingers at any of your team-mates, but just go back
to the drawing board and find out
what you did wrong. And correct it for
the next day, the next match. The Olympics is where
the best of the best in the world compete. To be invited to play
in the Olympics would be just a great honour to
any athlete, truly, because that’s saying that
they’re chosen to represent their country, and they’re seen as one of the
best in their country – and potentially the world. My biggest dream for
the sport of rugby sevens is to become
an Olympic athlete. That is pretty much
any athlete’s dream. To walk and represent
their country in the Olympics. I just wanna make it
to the Olympics team. Hopefully, get my country
a medal. (HIS TIME IS NOW)