Selestino Ravutaumada
Rotorua Boys' first XV star signs with NZ Warriors
4 Aug, 2018 8:10am
4 minutes to read
Selesitino Ravutaumada 1.jpg
Rotorua Boys' High School first XV star Selesitino Ravutaumada has signed with New Zealand Warriors. Photo / Stephen Parker

Looking through file photos of Rotorua Boys' High School First XV star Selesitino Ravutaumada, it is no coincidence that in most of them he is slipping out of tackles and leaving opposition players in his dust. It's just what he does.

Blessed with an overwhelming amount of speed and X-factor, the 18-year-old has taken the first step towards a career in sport after school, signing with the New Zealand Warriors this week.

Ravutaumada's story is one of drive, determination and a willingness to support his family. He moved to Rotorua from Fiji two years ago on a rugby scholarship at Rotorua Boys' High School with the long-term goal of forging a professional sporting career so he could afford to bring his family over from Fiji.

Signing with the Auckland-based NRL side is a massive step in the right direction. He follows in the footsteps of his 2017 first XV teammates Hayze Perham and Tom Ale who signed similar contracts last year. Ravutaumada will make the move to Auckland in November, when he finishes school.

He said he was happy about the move and grateful for the opportunity.

"It's pretty cool, I'm excited. The Warriors gave me the best deal. I played league last year for the New Zealand schools team, league is probably easier, you play more structure.

Selesitino Ravutaumada 2.jpg
Rotorua Boys' High School first XV fullback Selesitino Ravutaumada on his way to scoring a try against Gisborne Boys' High School in the Super 8 competition. Photo / File

"My family were freaking out when I told them. My goal is to get them over here in three years, so they can stay here. I just want to help my family."

He will start off with the Warriors' development side and is likely to ply his trade in the centres or on the wing where his tackle-breaking ability should shine. He said his favourite thing about rugby - union and league - was running around with his team-mates and "gassing people".

As well as linking up with former teammates Perham and Ale, Ravutaumada was looking forward to learning from some of the world's best players, such as Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson.

While blessed with natural attacking flair, he has worked hard on his game in the last two years and credits the school and his coaches for helping him get to this point in his career.

Selesitino Ravutaumada 3.jpg
Selesitino Ravutaumada makes a break against Tauranga Boys' College. Photo / File

Rotorua Boys' High School principal Chris Grinter said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for Selesitino, he is definitely a talented sportsman, with a very bright future. This opportunity with the Warriors will give him every opportunity to build a successful career.

"The fact that two of our first XV players from last year are with the Warriors this year also provides further support for a young man who is living away from his homeland of Fiji."

Grinter said Ravutaumada had worked hard on his overall game since arriving at the school.

"Selesitino, like most of the young men we get from the Pacific Islands, arrived with good skills, lots of speed but lacked the understanding and pattern of the New Zealand game of rugby. This takes these boys at least a year, sometimes even two years, to become fully confident and comfortable with how New Zealanders at high school play rugby.

"Selesitino started to shine last year and this year in Year 13 is excelling now that he's built that confidence and understanding. His potential was widely recognised and he indeed had a number of opportunities in both rugby and league to consider, which he did carefully before making this final decision."

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503436&objectid=12100397
 
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warriorsfan92

1st Grade Fringe
Oct 11, 2013
732
Dunedin, New Zealand
Those west coast sand dunes are a bit more than general fitness mate, they are genuine gut busters where things are hurting that you even didn't know you had. If this kid is leading RTS he has genuine ticker, and is a hungry bastard as well. All he needs now is a bit of direction. I hope he is selected in the reserves because I will be sitting down ready for that game.

Hence why I wrote this.. “One thing this consistent push does show is mental fortitude which to me is more exciting than generic fitness.. the kid has the head for elite sport.”
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
16,109
Who was the last kid to do it straight from 1st XV? Isaiah Papali'i???
Another kid who is mentally tough, the mind is starting to boggle at the talent this club is unearthing.
The kid leading the pack again
That is one hell of a pic.
Not far behind Tino are Maumolo, Keighran, Ayshford and CHT. If one is to assume that RTS is still a fitness machine, actually one of the fittest in the NRL just what does that say about this squad?

It indicates to me that squad fitness is way ahead of last season, when we surprised everybody in the first game.

Not only that it shows desire to achieve and disregard for pain. I believe that will show in defence first.

Just bring it on.:happy::happy:
 

Far North Forever

1st Grade Fringe
Mar 5, 2013
980
Northland
Another kid who is mentally tough, the mind is starting to boggle at the talent this club is unearthing.

That is one hell of a pic.
Not far behind Tino are Maumolo, Keighran, Ayshford and CHT. If one is to assume that RTS is still a fitness machine, actually one of the fittest in the NRL just what does that say about this squad?

It indicates to me that squad fitness is way ahead of last season, when we surprised everybody in the first game.

Not only that it shows desire to achieve and disregard for pain. I believe that will show in defence first.

Just bring it on.:happy::happy:

Shaun Johnson affect, ie.no one is bigger than the team, bust your ass or see you later, I like it much
 

Fazz

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 12, 2012
4,484
Hamilton, New Zealand
Seems a bit premature to elevate him this soon doesn't it? No doubting he's an amazing prospect but he's fresh out of college rugby. He'd struggle to keep up in reserve grade I would say let alone the NRL.

Who was the last kid to do it straight from 1st XV? Isaiah Papali'i???

Not saying he's really in the running for that, I'd have him as a massive outlier. Totally see how it came off that way though.

More just listing potentially ways to get that gimp out of the team haha. I don't expect him to play any first grade this year, but it's exciting to see young players coming out and doing the hard yards, as opposed to turning up from Xmas break with a massive gut.
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
16,109
Have I missed something or are you guys just reading too much into a bunch of still pictures that could easily lack context?
The context of sprinting up West Coast sandhills is good enough for me.

The Warriors used to be like the Blues and everybody held back for the least fit. Then the rock stars got selected on TV glimpses of their natural athleticism and flair in under 20s.

This kid might not have as much flair as some, we haven't seen him in reserve grade yet, but even this far he has contributed to the fitness and mental toughness of the whole squad. I bet nobody in this squad gets laughed at for doing extras.
 

Murraytd

1st Grade Fringe
Sep 5, 2014
642
Brisbane
I hope this kid makes first grade this year thru talent and attitude, by doing so he would have shown a work ethic, skillset and ability that can't be denied. Probably not likely though, but would be amazing to have a genuine flyer with X factor A la Kenny Nagas, Noa Nandruku, Suliasi Vunivalu, Lote Tuquiri, etc. At worst lets hope he/all players are forcing pressure to be in the 17.
 
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JaggedJ

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 19, 2018
2,655
The context of sprinting up West Coast sandhills is good enough for me.

The Warriors used to be like the Blues and everybody held back for the least fit. Then the rock stars got selected on TV glimpses of their natural athleticism and flair in under 20s.

This kid might not have as much flair as some, we haven't seen him in reserve grade yet, but even this far he has contributed to the fitness and mental toughness of the whole squad. I bet nobody in this squad gets laughed at for doing extras.

Yeah, all that from a still picture is way overboard. Hope he goes well, but I'll get excited when I see him on the field, not "sprinting" up sand dunes.

Although I may raise my expectations when the Warriors release the pre season photo of him walking on water :p
 

bruce

Warriors 1st Grader
Contributor
Sep 1, 2015
16,109
Anyway to keep it on topic, based on those dune pics I'm sure that this young Ravutaumada would have waltzed into that Raiders side. Given how fit he is he probably would have taken Clyde's place at lock.
I think the highest expectation I have suggested of him this season is reserve grade, which is fair considering his lack of experience in the game. However to have a potential reserve grader leading the way in endurance training is quite exciting as far as the whole squad goes. With the attitude he is showing I am sure first grade will come sooner rather than later.
 

Mr Brownstone

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 9, 2014
2,888
However to have a potential reserve grader leading the way in endurance training is quite exciting as far as the whole squad goes. With the attitude he is showing I am sure first grade will come sooner rather than later.
There was a bloke training with the Central Coast Mariners in their pre-season who didn't have much football experience however he was the fastest human ever. By your logic shouldn't Usain Bolt have made it into the A-League?
 

JaggedJ

1st Grade Fringe
Apr 19, 2018
2,655
Would be good if someone with the good oil could let us know how the guy is actually going early on this preseason.

It would be encouraging if he was leading the pack but I'd like something a little more concrete than some potentially misleading still photos.
 

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