Interview: Junior Roqica
Big names aren’t just getting signed at NRL level for the nib Newcastle Knights, with the Club’s Reserve Grade side also getting a piece of the action.
Fijian international prop Junior Roqica has been the latest addition to boost the Knights forward pack in ISP, on a one-year part-time deal.
The 26-year-old started his NRL career with the Cronulla Sharks in 2014, before moving to England last year to play for the London Broncos.
After heading back to Australia late last year to play in the World Cup for an impressive Bati outfit, the big forward decided to stay.
“England was a nice trip and footy was good to play but I felt like I could still offer a bit more back here in the NRL,” the charismatic Roqica told Knights TV.
“The offer came up with the Knights and I took it with both hands.
“It’s awesome to be back in Australia and Newcastle’s a beautiful place.”
While the Fijian has his sights set on again breaking into the NRL, he knows he’ll need to play consistent footy to keep the dream alive.
“Obviously the goal is to play NRL, but I’ll put my best foot forward in ISP and play some good football and hopefully go from there,” explained Roqica.
It’s awesome to be back in Australia and Newcastle’s a beautiful place.Junior Roqica Forward
“My experience plays in my favour, so I'm looking to bring that experience into the team and just play my game.
“My goals for the season are to maintain a starting spot in Reserve Grade, play well in the trials, carry strong and defend well.
“I understand I’ve got to work for it and if an opportunity comes, I’ll be ready for it.”
The Reserve Grade team has plenty of depth this year and will be aiming to make the finals.
“Talking to some of the boys last year, they said they had a relatively small squad, five to six players, but this year we’ve got close to a full team,” Roqica maintained.
“When the season starts, the boys that don’t play NRL will come back down but it will make for good competition and hopefully each and every week we can put out a strong team.”
And Roqica admits it’s also good to see a familiar face or two.
“Some of the boys I have either played against or played with… myself and Jacob (Saifiti) were on the bench this year for Fiji and Daniel (Saifiti) obviously missed out due to injury,” he said.
“It was good to room with Jacob and get to know him a little bit better and form a relationship.
“We’ve caught up and had a few coffees and he’s showed me around and taken me under his wing I guess.
“In the last couple of weeks some of the boys have shown me around and it’s a beautiful place and I’m really looking forward to playing some good footy.”