A spectacular length-of-the field try for London Irish against London Scottish at the Richmond Athletic Ground last October announced Joe’s arrival on the scene not only to the crowd but also to the television audience watching the game live.
Now 19, he began playing the game seriously from the age of 13 initially having preferred football. He was born in Fiji and moved to England at the age of three because his father Ilaitia was in the British Army. He also lived in Germany and Brunei before returning to the UK in 2013. He is now a member of the London Irish Academy.
He said: “My dad played for the Army vets and I managed line up alongside him in a midfield partnership when we were in Brunei. I started senior rugby with Old Merchant Taylors’ when I was 16 but playing in the A-League for London Irish was definitely a step up.
“Nick Kennedy and the other coaches at the club have told me to back myself and play my own game. I’ve got some good mentors there in Topsy Ojo, Aseli Tikoirotuma and Alex Lewington but my biggest ones are probably Nick (Kennedy) and Paul Hodgson.”
He played four times for England U18 last year before celebrating his debut for the U20 team with one of their nine tries in the 59-17 win over France at Exeter in February and appeared in every match along the way to England’s first Grand Slam at this level since 2011.
5 points – 1T
2017 F, W, It, S, I
2016 F, W SA Tour – SA (A), SA
Last updated 30 March 2017