Caucau returns

Star winger Rupeni Caucaunibuca is set to play for Fiji against the Junior All Blacks in Suva.

Caucau, who last played for Fiji at the 2003 World Cup in Australia, will arrive in Fiji early Wednesday with Agen club mate Aca Ratuva.

Last year, the Fiji Rugby Union imposed a 12-month disciplinary ban on the winger, but have agreed to end it early as the player has since shown genuine remorse and much willingness to come back and represent his country.

“The original ban was to run through to August,” CEO Timoci Tavanavanua said. “But he has been in constant contact with coach Wayne Pivac over the past few weeks and appears very serious about making amends.”

“The FRU Board thus agreed to reduce the ban, bearing in mind that he had already missed out on last November’s tour to Europe as well as the Commonwealth Games.”

Pivac says Caucau has agreed to pay the money owed to FRU and to follow the team schedule properly.

“I think Rupeni genuinely regrets what happened last year,” Pivac said. “He’s been tearing up the turf in France this year and is the top try-scorer in the competition. I’m looking forward to having him in the squad for the Pacific Five Nations.”

The Fiji coach added that Biarritz wing Sireli Bobo has asked that he be allowed to play in the French semi-finals against Perpignan on 2 June as well as the final on 10 June if they qualify.

“This is a personal request from Sireli and I can understand his point of view. He’s had a tremendous first season with Biarritz and wants to complete the French season before joining Fiji.”

Interestingly, this means that Caucau could take Bobo’s No.11 jersey against the Junior All Blacks. The match kicks off Saturday at 3pm with a capacity crowd expected at PostFiji Stadium.