The enigmatic Rupeni Caucaunibuca has been selected for the Pacific Islanders November tour of Europe, but due to a typical vanishing act, is yet to be notified of the fact.
The elusive Fijian has been out of the game for a while now, having severed ties with his French club Agen and being banned from international rugby for 12 months after failing to pitch for a World Cup qualifier against Samoa last year. He has also missed numerous Tests due illness, and the last time he played for Fiji was against the Junior All Blacks and Italy in June this year.
A great player for his Vodacom Super 14 franchise, the Blues, the 26-year-old Caucau only has 6 caps for his country. His participation in the upcoming Pacific Islanders tour is also not guaranteed, as officials are struggling to locate him and inform of his selection.
PIRA chief Sakopo Lolohea has confirmed that Caucau has not been informed, but has been told by PIRA coach Wayne Pivac that Caucau has committed himself to the side.
“Wayne Pivac spoke to Rupeni Caucaunibuca before he disappeared, and he was very keen to be part of this team,” Loholea said. “We will contact him and tell him his name is on the list.
“I think he is in Fiji and is just about to leave for France. But we have plenty of wingers to throw in if he doesn’t turn up.”
The 28-man squad to play Tests against Wales, Scotland and Ireland includes 12 Samoans, 9 Fijians and 7 Tongans, and will be captained by former Australian Schoolboys forward Simon Raiwalui.
Squad: Deacon Manu (Fiji), Taufaao Felise (Tonga), Tevita Taumoepeau (Tonga), Census Johnson (Samoa), Aleki Lutui (Tonga), Mahonri Schwagler (Samoa), Simon Rawalui (Fiji, capt), Daniel Leo (Samoa), Maama Molitika (Tonga), Isoa Domalailai (Fiji), Epi Taione (Tonga), Pila Vaki (Tonga), Semo Setiti (Samoa), Henry Tuilagi (Samoa), Aca Ratouva (Fiji), Nili Latu (Tonga), Mosese Rauluni (Fiji), Junior Polu (Samoa), Seremaia Bai (Fiji), Tasesa Lavea (Samoa), Seilala Mapusua (Samoa), Kameli Ratouva (Fiji), Sailosi Tagicakibau (Samoa), Lome Fa’atau (Samoa), Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Fiji), Alesana Tuilagi (Samoa), Norman Ligari (Fiji), Loki Crichton (Samoa).