Toots Joins the 100 Club

Article published:
February 7, 2021

TAUNTON Titans flanker Ratu Vakalutukali has earned legend status after playing 100 games for the club.

On the weekend Ratu led his team out to a full crowd in honour of him reaching this milestone.

"This club has been amazing to me and my family," Ratu told the County Gazette.

"I am so happy here and that is because of the community spirit aRugby Club.

"It stems from the players, the coaching staff and the backroom staff, everybody has made me welcome and makes this a great place to play rugby," Ratu said.

Fijian born, Ratu moved to England after graduating boarding school in his home country and joined the Marines.

"When I finished school in Fiji I worked on my family farm for a little while but I wanted to experience something new so I moved to England.

"After I finished my training for the marines I was stationed in Taunton and from there I joined the rugby club."

In his first season at the club Ratu played for the Warriors side, which is the junior team underneath the Titans.

However when Tony Yapp joined the club as head coach in 2012, Ratu was promoted to the Titans team and has not looked back since.

Tony Yapp said you will not find a better team player, leader, and most importantly a nicer bloke than Ratu.

"Honestly he is unbelievable, he is Taunton Rugby Club, he is everything that is good about the club.

"He works hard, he is a great bloke, very loyal and very humble.

"I know every week when you pick him you know you will get a great performance, he is probably the first player on the team sheet," Yapp said.

Ratu has been a pivotal player for Taunton during the club's recent progress through the leagues and was heavily involved in the teams National League Two South Championship in 2019/20.

"Being part of the team that won the competition in 2020 was great, and to now be part of the team competing in the National League for the first time in Taunton history is good," Ratu said.

Taunton are enjoying a decent start in the first attempt at this level and as a senior player Ratu feels a level of responsibility for his teammates.

"As a senior player I know there is a responsibility for me to have a positive influence on the younger lads and I try to lead by example.

"When I first joined the club the senior players helped me feel welcome and involved and I will do the same now," he said.

When asked what the best thing about Taunton Rugby Club is, Ratu made it quite clear what he thought.

"Honestly the best thing and my favourite part about this club is the feeling of family and the feeling of belonging.

"You just cant beat it."

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