Jason Qareqare plans on making his family proud after a “surreal” few weeks, with the youngster set to make his Fiji debut against England on Friday.
The two sides will meet as part of their World Cup preparations at the AJ Bell Stadium, with Qareqare earning a call-up at the age of just 18.
While he hasn’t been selected in Fiji’s 24-man squad for the tournament, he will wear the jersey with pride against England, making his first appearance for his country.
Born in Lautoka, the winger also spent time in Germany before his family relocated to Yorkshire in 2008. Now, he wants to make his family proud and test himself against the best just two years into his professional career.
“It’s a bit surreal,” Qareqare told Love Rugby League in the Fiji camp, based in Rochdale for their first week.
“I never even believed I would be in this situation at the start of this year.
“The camp has been going good. I’m meeting with new players and seeing how they play the game. Hopefully I can take that into my game and become a better player and that’s all I want.
“It’s a big opportunity for me. I was a supporter at the 2013 World Cup when I came over and I followed them everywhere.
“I’m a bit speechless”
“I think this year has come so quick. I never would have thought that I’d be here right now. I’m a bit speechless.
“It doesn’t get much bigger. I’ll be playing against these England players that I know and some from the NRL. It will be good to see where I am. At 18, I want to see where I stand and what I can do to prove myself and get better as a player.
“This is a real good opportunity for me to learn a lot.”
Family first for Jason Qareqare
Qareqare’s parents were both born in Fiji and he still has family in the South Pacific island, who he wants to make proud by pulling on the Fijian shirt.
“If you told my parents that I was to play against England for Fiji, they probably wouldn’t have believed you,” he said.
“I’m just grateful to be here and be around these world class players. I have a lot of family still in Fiji. I want to make them proud.”