Pro D2 – “I’m happy to have experienced all that”: in Grenoble, Ilikéna Bolakoro put an end to her career

Pro D2 – “I’m happy to have experienced all that”: in Grenoble, Ilikéna Bolakoro put an end to her career
Pro D2 – “I’m happy to have experienced all that”: in Grenoble, Ilikéna Bolakoro put an end to her career

The long career of Fijian center Ilikéna Bolakoro is coming to an end. This Pro D2 jump-off with Dax is an opportunity for him to leave with his head held high.

What a curious experience to cross the world to embark on a life of Rugby. Arriving in 2006 from his native Fiji, at the age of 19, Ilikéna Bolakoro chose to try his luck at Biarritz Olympique. Learning a language, a culture and the codes of this French rugby is in itself an adventure. His five seasons in Biarritz were crowned by a Champions Cup final in 2010 and a European Challenge title in 2012. “The first weeks in Biarritz were very hard. I was with Sireli Bobo’s family and I didn’t want to show anything, so when I found myself alone in my room, I cried. With learning the language, things have arranged”, confides the solid 36-year-old center. From Colomiers to the SA XV via Nevers, “Bola” will roll along. “As a rugby player and as a man, I grew up in France. That’s where I started my family. It’s still quite an experience to be able to live these moments, 20,000 km from your country!” continues the Fijian international.

Dominant throughout the match, the Grenoblois easily beat Dax at the Stade des Alpes. Final victory 58-10 for the Isérois, who will face Provence Rugby next Thursday in the semi-final.

The report > https://t.co/7mg9ckksrQ pic.twitter.com/TxSO2gDeyG

— RUGBYRAMA (@RugbyramaFR) https://twitter.com/RugbyramaFR/status/1793745827166560323?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

The end of his adventure in Nevers will be hastened by a serious shoulder injury. “With the repetition of the seasons and the effects of time, I thought my body was telling me to stop! That’s when Dax, then in National, came to get me. It took me almost a season to become competitive again The club was great and my fear of ending my story like this disappeared. I met extraordinary people. The mentality of this group is extraordinary. With the arrival of Jeff, I experienced a second youth. I, who thought I was finished, took part in a move up to ProD2 and this year, we are having a dream season.” evokes with emotion the “dad” of the Dacquoise rear lines.

Make the pleasure last…

In the course of a sporting career, time does not have the same value. The more time passes, the more we want to slow down and enjoy every moment. This season being the last for him, “Bola” confides: “what I saw in Dax was unexpected. I want to believe that my story deserved to end with such a strong emotional story, even if I want to prolong the pleasure! When I think about it, I’m happy to have experienced all that…”

At the end of this season, the player with his altruism praised by all, has in mind to switch to a role in training. “Jeff asked me to get involved. It’s something that suits me.” But the desire remains tenacious, for the strong Fijian “before leaving for Grenoble, my children asked me when we were going on vacation to Fiji. I told them to wait, because dad wanted to continue, a little (laughs)”. The defeat of his family, in this difficult barrage in Grenobleputs an end to the magnificent Dacquoise season and the formidable playing career of “Bola”…

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