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Ben Volavola (born 13 January 1991) is an Australian-born Fijian international rugby union footballer who plays for French Top 14 team Racing 92. He has previously played for Super Rugby clubs such as the Waratahs, Crusaders, and most recently the Rebels. Volavola can play as either a fly-half or full back.

Ben Volavola
Ben Volavola 2 2014.jpg
Volavola playing for the Rebels in 2017, Rd 10 vs. the Southern Kings
Birth nameBen Thomas Tuvula Volavola
Date of birth (1991-01-13) 13 January 1991 (age 28)
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight96 kg (15 st 2 lb; 212 lb)
SchoolEndeavour Sports High School
Newington College
UniversityAustralian College of Physical Education
Notable relative(s)Peni Volavola (Grandfather)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half / Fullback
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2012–2015
2017–2018
2018–
Southern Districts
Bordeaux
Racing 92
36
14
28
(248)
(13)
(26)
Correct as of 6 November 2017
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
2014
2016
2017
Greater Sydney Rams
Canterbury
North Harbour
8
7
10
(72)
(11)
(58)
Correct as of 6 November 2017
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
2013–2015
2016
2017
Waratahs
Crusaders
Rebels
8
7
10
(10)
(11)
(10)
Correct as of 6 November 2017
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011
2015–
Australia U20
Fiji
5
32
(37)
(198)
Correct as of 7 September 2019

Early lifeEdit

Ben Volavola was born in Sydney, Australia and is of Fijian and Indo-Fijian descent.[1][2] He is the grandson of former Suva Mayor, Ratu Peni Volavola, and of the former Suva netball representative Vasiti Mea Naqova. He moved back to Fiji during his early years.

EducationEdit

Volavola returned to Australia from Fiji aged nine and in his secondary schooling years attended Endeavour Sports High School (2005–2008) and Newington College (2009–2010).[3]

He attended Veiuto Primary School before he left for Australia where he first learnt how to play rugby, but moved back to Sydney in 2000 with his mother (Ema Volavola) and younger brother Milan before he started high School.

In 2012, he completed his Certificate III and IV in Fitness at the Australian Institute of Fitness in 2012. He also finished a Business Diploma with the Australian Vocational Training Academy.

Rugby careerEdit

Super RugbyEdit

His performances for Southern Districts in the Shute Shield have earned him a spot in the Waratahs Extended Playing Squad for the 2013 Super Rugby season.[4][5] He represented Australia Under 20 in the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship in Italy.[6][7]

Volavola signed for the Crusaders in the 2016 Super Rugby season to replace a number 10 exodus at the Crusaders with Dan Carter, Colin Slade and Tom Taylor who are moving to play rugby in Europe as well as confirming his eligibility to join Fiji for the upcoming 2015 Rugby World Cup.[8] He signed a two-year deal.[9]

 
Volavola playing for Greater Sydney Rams in 2014

After getting picked by Fiji for the upcoming 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, he intends to make the 10 jersey which was worn by former Fijian flyhalf, Nicky Little who Volavola regards as one of his heroes. His parents, Dinesh Shankar and Ema Volavola have been supportive of their son's decision to represent Fiji.[10]

He came off the bench against Māori All Blacks on his debut in the 2015 mid-year rugby union internationals as Fiji had given the match, test status.

He started at 10 for Fiji against Tonga in the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup scoring 15 points (3 conversions and 3 penalties).

He was named one of Fiji's 31 man squad for the Rugby World Cup 2015 which was hosted in England and Wales. He played all 4 matches, against all three of the biggest teams in Fiji's group; England (lost 35–11), Australia (lost 28–13) and Wales (lost 23–13) and the last against Uruguay where Fiji won 45–17.

In January 2017, he signed for Australian super rugby side, Melbourne Rebels. He played for one season before leaving the club.[11]

FranceEdit

In October 2017, after playing all of his professional career in the Super Rugby, NRC, and Mitre 10 Cup Volavola signed for French Top 14 club Bordeaux Bègles. Confirmation was released in November 2017. He joined Fijian teammate Peni Ravai.[12][13][14][15]

In June 2018, Volavola signed for his 2nd french club, Racing 92 as a backup to injured playmaker Pat Lambie.[16]

Super Rugby StatisticsEdit

As of 6 November 2017[17]
Season Team Games Starts Sub Mins Tries Cons Pens Drops Points Yel Red
2013 Waratahs 12 1 7 237 2 0 0 0 10 0 0
2014 Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 Crusaders 8 2 5 295 1 3 0 0 11 0 0
2017 Rebels 11 7 3 570 0 2 2 0 10 0 0
Total 25 10 15 1102 3 5 2 0 31 0 0

Personal lifeEdit

In October 2017, Volavola was seen with Actress Shailene Woodley on multiple occasions, fueling rumours that the two were dating. This came after she was reportedly filming the movie Adrift.[18] The duo later posted several photos of each other on social media, confirming their relationship, and in January 2018, Woodley posted a picture of Volavola saying "damn I love him".[19][20][21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Know About Ben Volavola; Age, Salary, Parents, Height, Shailene Woodley". Celebspodium. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  3. ^ The Courier Mail
  4. ^ Narawa, Emoni (29 October 2012). "Mum I'm a Waratah". Fiji Times. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Ben Volavola profile". Waratahs. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Ben Volavola profile". 2011 Under 20s. ARU. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Ben Volavola JWC profile". Junior World Cup. IRB. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
  8. ^ Iain, Payten (5 June 2015). "Fringe Waratahs playmaker Ben Volavola set for move to Crusaders to replace All Black great Dan Carter". Daily Telegraph AU. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Ben Volavola signs two-year deal with Crusaders". RugbyNews.net. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  10. ^ Mannan, Justine. "Ben Keen For No. 10". Fiji Sun. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Rebels add Fijian international Ben Volavola to squad" (Press release). Melbourne Rebels. 6 January 2017. Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  12. ^ Chandar, Reginald. "Volavola signs with Bordeaux-Begles". Fiji Live. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  13. ^ "RUGBY - TOP 14 - Ben Volavola et Ed Fidow arrivent à Bordeaux-Bègles en tant que jokers médicaux" (in French). Rugby Rama. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Rugby - Top 14 : le Fidjien Ben Volavola est arrivé à l'UBB" (in French). France Bleu. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Les Bleus de l'UBB déjà sur le terrain, Ben Volavola patiente" (in French). L'Équipe. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Volavola In For Carter At Racing 92 | Fiji Sun". fijisun.com.fj. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Player Statistics". It's Rugby.
  18. ^ "PDA alert! Smitten Shailene Woodley puts on EXTREMELY loved-up display with new rugby player beau Ben Volavola as he passionately kisses her and caresses her pert derrière". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  19. ^ "'Damn I love him' - Shailene Woodley declares her love for Kiwi rugby star boyfriend". newshub.co.nz. Retrieved 8 January 2018.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Is Shailene Woodley Dating Rugby Player Ben Volavola?". E! Online. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Meet Shailene's new man! Woodley debuts her New Zealand rugby player beau Ben Volavola after teasing his identity on social media for weeks". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 November 2017.