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Levani Botia (born 14 March 1989 in Naitasiri) is a Fijian rugby union footballer. Nicknamed "Demolition Man", plays centre, flanker and wing for La Rochelle and his national team, Fiji.

Levani Botia
Levani Botia.jpg
Birth nameLevani Botia Veivuke
Date of birth (1989-03-14) 14 March 1989 (age 30)
Place of birthNaitasiri
Height1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight103 kg (16 st 3 lb; 227 lb)
SpouseEmele Veivuke
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre/Back Row
Current team La Rochelle
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2013– La Rochelle 75 (40)
Correct as of 22 August 2015
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2013 – Fiji 11 20
Correct as of 25 November 2017
National sevens team(s)
Years Team Comps
2013–14 Fiji 12

Contents

CareerEdit

Botia worked as a prison officer, it was then that he got a chance to play for the Warden's 7's team in a local competition. He never told his wife that he played rugby professionally until she saw him one day on TV playing at the 2011 Pacific Games in New Caledonia.[1]

He did not go to high school as he left school after finishing class eight to focus on his rugby career. He left for Suva after a few years and there he played for the Suva development side before playing for City Eagles. He was spotted one day by former Fiji 7's coach and legend, Waisale Serevi who included him in the sevens team to the 2011 Pacific Games.[1] After returning, he was included in the main sevens team for the 2012–13 IRB Sevens World Series though an injury ruled him out for most of the season buth he was included in the Fiji team to the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.[2] Botia also played in the Digicel Cup for his province, Namosi and he even took his side to the semi-final in 2013. He even captained the national 7's team in a few tournaments .

In February 2014, he joined Pro D2 rugby side, La Rochelle.[3]

Fiji national team (15s)Edit

He made his International debut for the Fiji 15's team against Portugal during the 2013 end-of-year rugby union internationals and he also scored a try on debut.[4] He then played again for Fiji a week later against the Barbarians, a centennial match for Fiji to celebrate 100 years of rugby in Fiji.

He then joined the team a year later when they played France starting at inside centre.

In June 2015, he was included in the Fiji team to play in the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup. He set up one of the tries of the year when he regathered a kick and set off on one of his trademark runs and then bumped off 2 Tongan players to set up a try for Henry Seniloli.[5]

He was included in the final 31-member squad to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[6]

TrademarkEdit

Botia is known for his trademark runs and strong tackles and tackle busts.

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Narain, Pravin (29 June 2015). "Love between life and rugby career". Fiji Times. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  2. ^ "After long road back from injury, Levani Botia included in 21-man Fiji Rugby World Cup 7s squad". ur7s.com. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  3. ^ Seru, Maikeli (28 February 2014). "7s family first, Botia off to France". Fiji Sun. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Portugal vs Fiji". ESPNscrum. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up great Fijian try in Pacific Nations Cup". RugbyDump. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2015: Fiji omit Tigers' Seremaia Bai from squad". BBC. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.