Fijian flyer Ratuva signed until 2022

Richard Becht & warriors.kiwi
Tue 30 Jun 2020, 02:10 PM


Giant winger Junior Ratuva has been signed by the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2022 NRL season.

After an outstanding schoolboy rugby union career, the 1.96cm, 110kg flyer spent time in the Melbourne Storm’s system in 2018 making an immediate impression as a prolific try scorer.

Highlights reels show the Fijian tearing defences apart with his combination of power, pace and ball-playing skills when he was with the Victorian Thunderbolts in the Queensland under-20 competition.

Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said Ratuva (21) has the ability to make a huge impact in rugby league.

“Junior is one of the best athletes I’ve come across in my time in footy,” he said.

“His progress has been hampered by injury but he’s now back in training and we expect him to develop into a high-class NRL player with some game time under his belt.

“Junior has worked really hard on his rehab and is primed to hit the ground running in 2021.”

Ratuva was originally brought to New Zealand from Cuvu College in Fiji to play rugby union for the King’s College First XV, where he excelled at lock or flanker.

His switch to rugby league immediately resulted in him being groomed as a winger.

JUNIOR RATUVA
Born: February 15, 1999
Birthplace: Fiji
Junior Club: King’s College (rugby union), Melbourne Storm
Position: Winger
Height: 196cm
Weight: 110kg
Previous Club: Melbourne Storm

 

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Jun 21, 2012
22,775
Mt. Wellington, Auckland

Recruitment manager at Warriors hails new Fijian signing as ‘one of the best athletes I’ve come across’

TUE, JUN 30 • SOURCE: 1 NEWS
Capture111.JPG


The Warriors have signed giant Fijian winger Iliesa Junior Ratuva, who has been hailed by the club’s recruitment manager as “one of the best athletes I’ve come across in my time in footy”.
Iliesa Junior Ratuva.


The 21-year-old, who has blinding speed despite weighing 110kg and being 196cm tall, will return to Auckland after attending King’s College on a rugby scholarship, where he played as a lock or flanker.

After signing with the Melbourne Storm and switching codes. Ratuva moved out to the wing.

He played with the Victorian Thunderbolts in the Queensland under-20 competition, scoring some long-range tries with a long, loping stride.

“Junior is one of the best athletes I’ve come across in my time in footy,” Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said.

“His progress has been hampered by injury but he’s now back in training and we expect him to develop into a high-class NRL player with some game time under his belt.

“Junior has worked really hard on his rehab and is primed to hit the ground running in 2021.”

Ratuva is signed until the end of the 2022 season.

 

Sky Waka

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 28, 2017
319
I was watching the video at the top and thinking how refreshing it is to have a young guy not coming from rugby, then I read underneath.
 

matiunz

All Out!
Contributor
Jul 15, 2013
7,883
Sydney
I hope so, because he looks as fast as a giraffe. Who does he replace? Surely the Fusitua if he can’t play centre
Don’t think it’ll matter this year too much, unlikely to slot straight into the top side unless he kills it in preseason. Then if it comes down to earning it through competition I don’t mind who misses out. In fact after this year I feel it’s also up to Ken and Fusitua to earn their spots back
 
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jonesy101

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 28, 2016
1,029
Don’t think it’ll matter this year too much, unlikely to slot straight into the top side unless he kills it in preseason. Then if it comes down to earning it through competition I don’t mind who misses out. In fact after this year I feel it’s also up to Ken and Fusitua to earn their spots back
Agree that there is little chance of him featuring ahead of the incumbents Ken and Fusitua in round 1. He's still to play a single game of first grade and there was no opportunity for him to hone his skills this year through the season long injury and the cancellation of the Canterbury Cup. But if either of Ken or Fusitua get injured and he's managed to get a few games under his belt for Redcliffe he must surely be next cab off the rank, ahead of Pompey and also Perham who is better used as cover at centre.
 

playdaball

Heritage Member
Apr 23, 2012
2,294
Is he training at the moment with the young guys?
 

geepee

Warriors Bench Player
Mar 27, 2016
158
i have a feeling and hear me out , they use him like they did herbet as injury cover ( and lets face it with the back three costing us a heap of coin we might see them released in future especailly with cap decrease and i hear none of back three want a pay decrease
 
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Sup42

Warriors 1st Grader
May 7, 2012
20,460
I wonder whether or not the Warriors are going to head away from the big winger in future.

We look to be doing that already with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, and also seeing the benefit of a similar guy in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on the other wing....factoring in the trouble Kosi is having...

Just wondering here if this guy will be one of the last of his type we look at.

Montoya is another example of the benefits of normal stature Wings with pace.
 

Swanny

1st Grade Fringe
Jun 18, 2017
677
I wonder whether or not the Warriors are going to head away from the big winger in future.

We look to be doing that already with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, and also seeing the benefit of a similar guy in Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on the other wing....factoring in the trouble Kosi is having...

Just wondering here if this guy will be one of the last of his type we look at.

Montoya is another example of the benefits of normal stature Wings with pace.
He seems to have the pace that they are looking for though. It’s interesting what is happening with the wingers. If you don’t have the pace to recover from jamming in to then turn and slide out you are of no value. There are apparently no suitors for Ferguson at the moment
 

JaggedJ

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 19, 2018
2,968
I think it's more about speed and awareness than size. Maumalo, Kosi, Fusitua just don't have the pace to match it with other wingers.

Ratuva's size won't be an issue if his speed is good enough. Guys like Saab and Coates are good examples of wingers with both size and speed. That's what Ratuva needs to be if he wants to take the next step.
 
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