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‘Love to go back’: Richie Mo’unga’s nephew interested in future NRL move

By Finn Morton
Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula of Fijian Drua passes the ball during the round 12 Super Rugby Pacific match between Western Force and Fijian Drua at HBF Park, on May 11, 2024, in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Janelle St Pierre/Getty Images)

Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula has taken Super Rugby Pacific by storm this season, and while the young playmaker is firmly focused on finishing the campaign with the Fijian Drua, the 20-year-old has signalled an intent to cross codes in the future.

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Armstrong-Ravula, who is the nephew of former All Black and serial Super Rugby champion Richie Mo’unga, debuted for the Drua in the round one defeat to the Blues but has gone on to impress in 11 eye-catching appearances.

Last time out against the Queensland Reds in Suva, Armstrong-Ravula denied the visitors a potentially crucial losing bonus point with a clutch penalty in the 82nd minute from practically the right touchline.

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While the New Zealand-born flyhalf seems destined for a bright future both at Super Rugby Pacific level and potentially beyond, the Fiji U20s representative is interested in following in the footsteps of some sporting giants down the track.

Armstrong-Ravula went to school in Ipswich, Queensland, which is a big rugby league community. The 13-player game was “all I knew growing up” while his family members from New Zealand tried to convince him to pursue rugby union.

While Armstrong-Ravula has done just that, there’s an itch that still might need to be scratched in the NRL. The Fijian Drua pivot is interested in joining the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Brad Thorn as code jumpers between union and league.

“I’d always love to go back to league,” Armstrong-Ravula told RugbyPass.

“Growing up and seeing Sonny Bill (Williams), players like Brad Thron, they’ve done. I always thought, ‘Man, I’d love to do that as well.’

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“It’d say just family influence but also what was working at the time.

“If I was to get into a better pathway through rugby league I hopefully would’ve been over there but nah. I’d love to do both at the end of my career.

Head-to-Head

Last 3 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
0
Wins
0
Average Points scored
41
17
First try wins
33%
Home team wins
67%

“Definitely, definitely. I always talk about it with my dad. We watch all the NRL games, all the rugby union games in the northern hemisphere, southern hemisphere.”

But for now, the Fijian Drua are still looking to secure their place in the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs. They have one foot in the next stage, but with two regular season matches still to play, the job is far from done.

The Drua, who currently sit in eighth place, are only two points ahead of a resurgent Western Force outfit and defending champions the Crusaders aren’t too far behind in 10th. It’ll be a real battle to qualify in the competitive top eight this season.

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Following their win over the Reds, the Drua are “excited to play” ahead of a quasi-knockout clash with the Highlanders in Dunedin on Sunday before a final-round clash at home against the Melbourne Rebels.

“We were pretty happy with the weekend and pretty exciting moving forward,” Armstrong-Ravula said.

“It’s a good buzz, a good energy around the boys especially so we’re just excited to play and keep getting better.

“It’s crazy seeing the players we’re playing against. I remember watching (and) being a fanboy of all these players and now I look across and see Damian McKenzie, Rieko Ioane. I was honestly pinching myself.

“Even playing with the boys that I’m with now, just enjoying it heaps, trying to have as much fun as I can.”

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1 Comment
J
Jacinda 32 days ago

Razor should take him under his wing

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