“The best piece of advice I have been given is to play for your family, that’s all the motivation I need.”
“My dad was in the army so we moved around a lot. I was born in Fiji, and lived there for three years before we came to England. We stayed in England for five or six years before my dad got posted to Germany, so we lived there for five years which is where I have most of my childhood memories. He then got posted in Brunei on Borneo Island and then we came back to England.
“I have a Fijian background so that rugby heritage is always going to be a part of you. Being Fijian and being around Fijians you already know about rugby before you play it.
“Having said that I played football a lot when I was younger, I had a decent touch but that quickly disappeared when I grew.
“I like the physical element of rugby as well as the camaraderie of being part of a team.
“Once I started getting older I’d watch my dad play and the way he played inspired me. Luckily I was fortunate enough to play with him and that pushed me more.
“He was very supportive of my early days playing, as was my mother. They have been the main influence on me, my father had one tour of Iraq and one of Afghanistan, I’m really proud of him.
A family affair
“My dad played 12 (inside centre) and I used to play 13, I let him do all the hard work, break the line and I finished it off.
“Mum was there shouting at him to make sure I didn’t get hurt, he was protective of me though so it was fine.
“He was quite physical and big but had delicate hands for his size so that is something I wanted to replicate.
“At the time I didn’t think it was that big to play with him, but looking back it’s something I cherish. To say you’ve played alongside your dad in the centre partnership is something I’ll never forget. I would have been 16, playing adult rugby in Brunei for his regiment.
“Now after every game he’ll always give me some feedback, but it’s all happened quite quickly from playing age-grade rugby to this point.
“The first time I put the England shirt on was away in France for the U18s, I just couldn’t believe it was happening. Singing the national anthem was quite overwhelming, it gave me goosebumps. You just want more; you feel a sense of pride and playing 20s makes you hungrier to get that senior cap.
“It was good to test yourself against other countries and it definitely prepared me for playing in the Championship and Premiership.
“My family never miss a game, singing the national anthem, they love it. It’s been a long journey for them and something I want to do - make them proud.”