Rugby Union

Army Star 'Enjoying' His Rugby With Table-Topping Bristol Bears

Private Ratu Siva Naulago scored twice against London Irish over the weekend.

Army rugby union and Bristol Bears player Private Ratu Siva Naulago says he is "enjoying" playing for the table-topping Premiership club.

The 29-year-old scored twice against London Irish in a 34-34 draw at the Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday.

The winger recently made the switch back to rugby union after playing rugby league for Hull FC.

He started his career within the Army 7s set up after coming to the UK from Fiji at the age of 18 and says it was the Armed Forces that provided him with his chance.

Pte Naulago said: "When I started playing 7s, the door was open so I had loads of opportunity.

"I told myself 'opportunities only come once in a lifetime' so I focused on it really well and here I am today.

"Every day I come to training to challenge myself and face new things."

Private Ratu Siva Naulago scoring for the Army against the Navy at Twickenham Stadium (Picture: Alligin Photography)

After impressing for the Army, he caught the eye of Hull FC and went on to take the Super League by storm, scoring 17 tries in 21 appearances for the club.

He looks back fondly on his time at the Yorkshire-based team, saying: "I was really fortunate for them to let me in and have a chance to pursue my dream as a rugby player."

But since switching codes again and signing for Bristol Bears in May 2020, Pte Naulago says he has kicked on.

"When you enter this environment, you really have to work yourself up to another level," he explained.

"Plus, with the players' and staff's feedback, it boosts you to another place."

The flying Fijian was expected to be a major part of Captain Mal Roberts' Army team for the Inter Services, including the big match against the Navy.

But both the tournament and the Army-Navy fixture at Twickenham have been called off due to COVID-19.

Pte Naulago said: "I was really looking forward to the Army vs Navy game because it's a different environment when you go into it.

"It takes all your professional level out and takes it back to where you started your humble beginnings from – where you started from in Army rugby."