- 908Wallaby Number
The tale of imposing Fijian-born winger Eto Nabuli and how he came to be a Wallaby is quite extraordinary.
The year was 2012 and Nabuli, who had grown up playing rugby in Sigatoka, was earning a living as a porter at the Natadola Bay Intercontinental Hotel in Fiji. Nabuli was noticed at the hotel by Joe Gray, a Fijian rugby league administrator, and from that moment his life changed. “I went up to the club one time and he (Gray) was an in-house guest and he was distributing some rugby boots and then he gave me one pair of rugby boots, so from there it all started,” Nabuli recalled. “He then said ‘I’ll go back to Australia and I promise you I’ll come back and I’ll take you to Australia to come and play.’
Gray returned to Fiji with (Australian rugby league legends) Andrew Johns and Brad Fittler and said ‘this is the guy I was telling you about’.” Two years later Nabuli made his international rugby league debut for Fiji. He then signed a one-year contract with the St. George Illawarra Dragons where he scored seven tries in his thirteen games.
Nabuli then left the NRL and signed a two-year deal the Queensland Reds ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby season. “I’ve switched back to union because I played union back home,” he said. “I just wanted to switch back.” Eight tries in 2017 Super Rugby was enough to win the big Fijian a first Test cap.
Eto Nabuli played one Test for Australia and will forever be Wallaby #908
Nabuli won his first Test Cap when selected on the left wing in the starting XV against Scotland in Sydney.