Fijian rugby league player Pio Maisamoa Seci’s dream to play in Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) competition became a reality after he debuted for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles last week.
Seci became the 635th Sea Eagle and debuted alongside Zac Fulton and Alfred Smalley, who were called up to fill the vacuum left behind by seven players who boycotted the match against the Sydney Roosters because of their refusal to wear their NRL club’s pride jersey.
Among those players who got a break to fill the void was Seci. He plays for the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, a feeder club for Manly. When he got a call from the club, there was no way he was going to turn down the opportunity.
For Seci, this was a call he had waited for a long time and was happy to be given a chance while he was still in his prime.
Seci played as best as he could but the Sea Eagles went down 20-10 to the Sydney Roosters. The loss has not dampened this warrior as he had waited for a long time to get a NRL call.
“Feels unreal, I did not expect this and I think this is a blessing from God, Who would have thought? This is an emotional one for me as well and to be able to make my NRL debut at 28yrs, 11 Months, 22 days,” Seci said.
It was an experience he described as surreal and a dream come true, for him and his young family.
“Been through tough times and the good times in my journey. Something only my closest family and friends will know. It is safe to say that it’s all in God’s plan for me,” Seci said.
Seci began his rugby league career with the Nabua Broncos, one of the pioneer rugby league clubs in Fiji and it is from there he was selected for national duties.
He was among the only two local based players who were selected for national duties during the 2017 World Cup.
He shared his experience on his Facebook page, thanking his club officials from the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.
Seci hopes that his trip to Manly will become permanent and he would have fulfilled his dream, the same one he started from the paddocks in Nabua in Suva.