09. Rupeni Caucaunibuca

Rupeni Caucaunibuca (/rˈpɛn ˈððnɪmˈbðɑː/; born 5 June 1980) is a retired Fijian rugby union footballer who last played professionally for Northland in the ITM Cup. His nickname was the “Bua Bullet” as he hailed from the province of Bua.

Caucaunibuca or “Rups”, as called by those who knew him, grew up most of his life in the village. Caucaunibuca’s father was a church minister based around the Bua province on the northern parts of Fiji so his family frequently moved.

Caucaunibuca was a keen rugby player in his youth as he began to show his skills, pace and athleticism during the afternoon touch rugby on his village ground.[citation needed]

Caucaunibuca went to Bucalevu, a school in Taveuni after completing his primary education at Kubulau District School in Bua. He took athletics and would often participate in the sprint event. His talent was recognised during secondary school trials at Ratu Sukuna Memorial School grounds. Caucaunibuca went on to represent the Bua Rugby team at the B Division championship but lost to Ovalau in the semi final. Ovalau went on to the premier competition.

Caucaunibuca caught the eye of the Fiji selectors and coach, the late Rupeni Ravonu at one of the local 7’s competition in early 2000 and he selected the youngster to his Police team. Caucau excelled from there and later was rewarded and named in the Fiji sevens team, and his first time to travel overseas.

He has also been the honourable chairman of Hong Kong Touch Rugby Team Rupeni RFU since 2002.

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