Ravueta will be a handful
RHINOS’ new signing Josateki Ravueta doesn’t say much. In fact the most you get out of him is a warm Fijian smile.
Josateki, or Joe as he prefers to be called, will play in the centres for the Rhinos this season and from all reports will be a handful for opposition teams.
Joe, from the idyllic fishing village of Navutulevu on the coral coast of Viti Levu, has all the physical attributes of an outside back - speed strength and skill - which gained him a place in the Fijian World Cup squad in 2008
“I missed out on the run-on side because they selected Jarryd Hayne,” the quietly spoken Joe said.
Like most overseas players Joe has keen interest in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition and supports the North Queensland Cowboys with his favourite player being Jonathan Thurston.
When back in his hometown of Navutulevu Joe plays for the Mango Bay Cowboys - that is when he is not busy honing his skills in traditional net fishing
Joe is no stranger to rugby league in northern NSW - in 2008 he played a season with the Sawtell Panthers.
On Sunday Joe ran out for the first time with his new club in a pre-season game against the Lower Clarence Magpies at McKittrick Park which the Rhinos won 34-20.
Rhinos coach Xavier Sullivan said his new recruit will be an asset to the club and will strengthen their playing personnel.
“Joe was very impressive in his first run with the team,” Sullivan said.
“He has speed to burn and is quick off the mark. His speed and strength near the line is his key and he was rewarded with two tries.
“I was also impressed with the way he adapted to our basic plays...his inclusion in the backs has given us a new dimension in attack”
There will be no lack of speed in the Rhinos’ outside backs this season with Sullivan indicating he may use last year’s fullback and pocket dynamo Joel Moss in the centres alongside Josateki.
“At this stage Joel will play in the centres with Dwayne Duke moving into the forwards,” Sullivan said.
“Todd Cameron took over the fullback role on the weekend and steered the ship from behind...overall I was happy with the way they played.
“Our halves, Regan Burley and Ronald Gordon stood out against lower and directed the team around the field. We had good ‘go forward’ against a big Magpies pack...we dominated them early.
Sullivan said the game against last season’s premiers was a hundred percent on the Rhinos first trial match of the season against Bellingen.
The Rhinos next hit out is against Casino at Casino on April 10.
Name: Josateki Ravueta
Occupation: rugby league player/ farmer
Previous club: Mango Bay Islanders
Preferred Playing Position: Wing/centre
Representative Career: 2007 Fiji Bati v Junior Kangaroos. Fiji Bati test match - Mate of Tonga. 2008 - Sawtell Panthers RLFC. Fiji Bati World Cup squad.