King Vuniyayawa has never been afraid of hard work in pursuit of his rugby league dreams. Before earning a full-time contract with NRL side New Zealand Warriors, the Fiji international was combining working long hours in a manual job along with playing on a part-time basis.
“I came up doing that before I got signed full time and I really wouldn’t have minded until I could get myself back up again,” Vuniyayawa said. “I was building switchboards and stuff back home. It was hard at first going to work then going to training at the end of the night, finishing around 9pm or 10pm and getting back home to get back up early to go to work. But I knew there was always a goal to get to and I had to stick it out, and I guess it all paid off in the end.”
“I had my first taste of league and I was like ‘I’m not going back to the union at all!’,” he added. “After the ’08 World Cup, I saw Jarryd Hayne playing and he attracted my eyes to the game. After that, it was all of the shoulder contact and everything.”
“I was only 15 and my mate was playing in the A-team’s grade, and he told me to go play some league. I was just throwing shoulders everywhere and I kind of fell in love with that.” he continued. “The other team was getting mad at me, but after that, I was like ‘Wow, this is a fun game!’. The shoulder charge is banned now, but I guess it’s all for the good of the game.”