Brothers Rugby World Cup Star: Bred for the Game

Iliseva Batibasaga is bred for Rugby. Her dad, Isimeli, played 13 tests for Fiji in the 1970s. Her cousins include Nemani Nadolo, Chris Kuridrani, Tevita Kuridrani and Lote Tuqiri.

The 37-year-old Brothers Scrum half made her debut for the Wallaroos in 2006. She was part of the 2006 Rugby World Cup squad and the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup team that finished 3rd.

She was also part of the 2013 squad that competed in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2013, but has not been part of ensuing World Cups until the call-up this year for the big show in New Zealand.

Iliseva’s mum and dad, Isimeli and Kathy, migrated to Brisbane in the 1980s. People that saw her dad play for Redcliffe in the 80s say she is a chip off the old block.

The Wallaroos are currently ranked number 7 in the world, and so they went into this World Cup hopeful rather than expectant.

Their opening match couldn’t have been tougher, drawing New Zealand, and after going 17-12 at half-time, there would have been some thoughts around a massive, giant killing. However, it went south in the 2nd half as the Black Ferns scored 29 unanswered points.

The Wallaroos pulled off a massive turnaround win against Scotland, down 12-0 at half-time. They scored two tries, including one by Ashley Marsters in the dyng minutes to get their first win on the board and stay alive in the comp, though they suffered two red cards in the closing minutes including the winning-try scorer.

They’ll be going up against Wales next, Wales having just got up 18-15 against Scotland.

You can follow the tournament here.