Fijian flier given a chance with Queensland Reds
THE flying Fijian who arrived in Queensland, unheralded and in thongs 10 months ago, has been snapped up as a new Queensland Reds signing on the wing.
Filipo Daugunu, 22, on Thursday had his persuasive case recognised after 10 tries in just four games for Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship.
More than just pure speed, he has shown excellent footwork and anticipation plus an ability to kick from his strong grounding in soccer in his homeland.
He will be aboard for the Country side which tackles the Fijian Drua in Lautoka on Saturday.
"I moved to Australia with a dream of playing Super Rugby and I'm so excited to get this opportunity with the Reds," Daugunu said.
Former Wallaby Chris Feauai-Sautia has needed his run of strong NRC showings for Country to show his value to the Reds after not playing a minute of Super Rugby this year.
Feauai-Sautia's bumping runs, neat off-loads and sheer desire to perform for Country have been impressive and locked up a new deal for the enigmatic talent.
His versatility as a proven winger-outside centre is a plus.
Filipo Daugunu has scored 10 tries in just four games for Queensland Country. Picture: Richard Gosling
Filipo Daugunu has scored 10 tries in just four games for Queensland Country. Picture: Richard GoslingSource:News Corp Australia
"The form of both these boys has been outstanding and it's been great to see them express themselves," new Reds coach Brad Thorn said.
"Filipo is just a highly talented young guy.
"There's no substitute for speed and in a professional program I'd like to think he's going to flourish."
"It's really pleasing to see Chris enjoying his rugby and thriving on the field.
"He had a serious setback with that knee injury last year and had a lot of work to put in before he could get back to his best. Hopefully he'll continue that strong form for the Reds next season."