TODAY |

From 'sparkie' to sevens world champion: Akuila Rokolisoa feeling blessed after 'coming from nothing'

All Blacks Sevens rookie Akuila Rokolisoa couldn't quite put into words what today's triumph at the World Cup meant to him but he found one that summarised it pretty well - "blessed".

Rokolisoa only made his debut for the New Zealand men's team earlier this year in Hong Kong - and even that, he feels, was a miracle.

"I was pretty much just working [before Hong Kong] as a sparkie, just house wiring and stuff," he said.

"Lucky I went to [this year's] nationals with the Counties boys and got called up from there!"

Rokolisoa was loaned from Auckland to Counties for this year's national tournament in Tauranga where he turned heads and caught the attention of selectors, leading to his inclusion as one of seven debutants in Hong Kong.

The squad was largely considered a development team with most of the usual members already in Australia at the time preparing for the Commonwealth Games which were being held a week later.

But a strong performance in Hong Kong saw the 24-year-old called into the Gold Coast team where he went on to win a gold medal.

Fast forward three months, and another gold medal is hanging around his neck - this time in San Francisco.

"I guess I'm just blessed," he said.

"I pretty much came from nothing and worked my way up - pretty blessed and happy."

Rokolisoa cemented his spot in the tournament's history with a try in the last minute of the final against England after coming off the bench.

The All Black Sevens rookie is in disbelief at how radically his world has changed this year. Source: 1 NEWS


More From