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Fijian Drua's star winger is heading to the United Rugby Championship

By Sam Smith
Onisi Ratave. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

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Fijian Drua wing Onisi Ratave is heading overseas after just one season with the new Super Rugby Pacific side.

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Ratave, who has been a semi-permanent fixture in the No 14 jersey for the Drua, will link up with Italian side Benetton on a two-year deal that kicks off as soon as the Super Rugby season comes to an end.

Born and raised in Fiji, Ratave relocated to New Zealand ahead of the 2021 provincial season and featured three times for Bay of Plenty – scoring three tries in the process.

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Predicting the Super Rugby Pacific play-offs.
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Predicting the Super Rugby Pacific play-offs.

This year, the 29-year-old made the step up to Super Rugby for the first time and has been an almost instant sensation for the Drua, touching down for six tries in the season to date.

“I am extremely happy to have reached this agreement with Benetton Rugby and enthusiastic about the opportunity that has arisen,” Ratave said of his new deal. “It will be thrilling to get to know a new country and join such a renowned club. I can’t wait to play and contribute to the team’s successes.”

“With the inclusion of Ratave in the squad, we bring to our team a player with important technical-physical skills who, above all, is capable of breaking lines and creating danger for opposing defences,” said Benetton Rugby CEO Antonio Pavanello.

“In his first year in a competition of as high a quality as Super Rugby he has already proven his qualities and we hope he can do the same wearing our colours.”

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In a team full of rangy athletes, Ratave has stood out thanks to his exceptional abilities to both bust through and skirt around tackles and will have undoubtedly raised the interests of Fjian head coach Vern Cotter.

The Fijian Drua have just one game left to play in the season and will line up against the Chiefs in Lautoka on Saturday afternoon. They currently sit 11th on the overall ladder – five points adrift of the 10th place Rebels.

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