Akapusi Qera

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Akapusi Qera
File-ST vs Gloucester - Match - 8841 (cropped).JPG
Date of birth (1984-04-24) 24 April 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth Suva, Fiji
Height 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 112 kg (17 st 9 lb)[1]
School Lelean Memorial School
Suva Grammar School
Wanganui Boys
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Flanker
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2005–2006
2006–2007
2007–2014
2014-
Coastal Stallions
Pertemps Bees
Gloucester Rugby
Toulouse
7
27
142
(35)
(80)
(165)
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2006
2005–
Fiji Warriors
Fiji
6
39
(20)
(35)
correct as of 29 June 2014.

Akapusi Qera (born 24 April 1984) is a Fijian professional rugby union player for Toulouse in the French Top 14. A Flanker or No.8, Qera is from a sporting family; his father was an international cricketer for Fiji and his brother also played international rugby for Fiji.[2] He is also a first cousin of Fiji test international Viliame Veikoso. Qera is a current test international and has also captained the national side.[3] Qera has also represented the Barbarians.

Whilst playing for Pertemps Bees during the 2006–2007 season he was voted Fiji rugby player of the year.[4] Later in the season he was nominated for Fiji sportsman of the year, finishing second to golfer Vijay Singh.[5]

A key player for Fiji during their 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign in France, he scored three tries and was later voted third in the Guinness Premiership player of the season awards for 2007–08.[6]

Since his debut season at Gloucester, Qera has gone on to captain the Fijian national side and also be awarded the Gloucester Player of the Year award in 2010.

In January 2014 Qera left Gloucester to join French Top 14 side Toulouse.

Club career[edit]

Coastal Stallions and Pertemps Bees

2005–2007

born 24 April 1984 in Suva, Qera's first professional club were Colonial Cup side Coastal Stallions whom he played for during the 2005–2006 season. During his time with the Stallions, Qera made numerous representative appearances for the Fiji U21 side and Fiji Warriors before progressing to the test squad in 2005. In total Qera made seven appearances for the Stallions scoring seven tries.

Qera then relocated to play professional club rugby in England for the Pertemps Bees.[7] During the 2006–2007 season at Pertemps Bees he was the club's top try scorer and the highest scoring forward in National Division One.

Gloucester Rugby

2007–2008

Qera moved to Gloucester, who play in the Guinness Premiership, at the start of the 2007–08 season.[8] He scored his first try for the club against Bourgoin in a 51–27 victory for Gloucester at Kingsholm. On 17 January 2008, Qera signed a new contract with Gloucester until 2010. On 19 April 2008 Qera scored a hat-trick in Gloucester's Guinness Premiership match versus Leeds Carnegie. In May 2008 Qera was nominated for the Guinness Premiership Player of the Year award for 2007–08, eventually finishing in third place behind England internationals Olly Barkley and James Simpson-Daniel. Dean Ryan (then Gloucester head coach) said of Qera's debut Premiership season, "Akapusi's impact on the Premiership last season was tremendous and he produced a number of world class performances".[9]

2008–2009

In July 2008 Qera had surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament and as a result he missed the start of the 2008–2009 season. Qera marked his return from injury with a try, coming off the bench to score in the corner in Gloucester's 24–22 win over London Wasps in March 2009. As a result of injury he made just 6 appearances for Gloucester during the season.

2009–2010

On 24 January 2010 Qera scored his second hat-trick for Gloucester in the Heineken Cup win over Newport Gwent Dragons.[10] He finished the 2009–2010 season with 10 tries from 31 first team appearances, proving his world class scoring rate and was Gloucester's second top overall try scorer for the season. He was voted Gloucester Rugby player of the season for 2009–2010.[11]

2010–2011

After suffering from Bell's Palsy towards the start of the season[12] Qera scored his first try of the campaign against Exeter Chiefs. Further scores came against London Irish in both the LV Cup and Premiership fixtures in February. He completed the season with 20 appearances in all competitions.

2011–2012

During the 2011–2012 season, Qera crossed the try-line against Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins, London Wasps and Newcastle Falcons in the Premiership as well as against Toulouse in the Heineken Cup. In February 2012 he signed a two-year contract extension at Gloucester and also received his first call up for the Barbarians for their summer internationals, making his debut against England at Twickenham.[13] Qera finished the club season having made 24 appearances in all competitions for Gloucester and was named in The Rugby Paper's Premiership XV.

2012–2013

A permanent fixture in the Cherry and Whites side during throughout the season, Qera crossed for scores against both London Irish and Leicester Tigers in the Premiership. He then scored in consecutive matches against London Welsh (in the LV Cup), Sale Sharks (for which he was awarded Premiership try of the week), Saracens and Harlequins. In total he made 29 appearances and was included in the 6-man shortlist for Premiership player of the season (won by Leicester and England hooker Tom Youngs).

2013-2014

Qera made six first team appearances in for the 2013-2014 season.

Toulouse

On 14 December 2013, it was announced Qera would leave Gloucester mid-season in the 2013/14 season as he signed a contract to join Toulouse in the French Top 14 under the 'Medical Joker' rule, effectively on 1 January 2014.[14]

International career[edit]

Early International Career

Qera had represented Fiji at U19 and U21 level before making his full Fiji debut against Samoa in 2005. He was included in the Fiji sevens training squad for 2006–2007 but was unable to attend due to his Pertemps Bees contract. In 2007 he was named Fiji Rugby Player of the Year.

2007 Rugby World Cup

Qera made an impressive impact at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. After scoring in the non-cap warm up match against SC Albi, he crossed for two tries in his side's 31–35 win over Japan. Qera then played in the game against Canada four days later and also played and scored the opening try in the 38–34 victory over Wales. This win clinched Fiji's qualification to the quarter finals in which they lost 37–20 to the eventual World Champions South Africa.[15]

2008 to 2011

In 2008 Qera played in the summer test against Samoa, starting from the bench. He also expressed a desire to represent Fiji at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, however ultimately did not participate.[16]

In 2009 Qera captained the national side against Scotland during Fiji's European tour.[17]

After missing the 2010 summer tests, Qera made his first appearance in a year for Fiji in the November test against France in Nantes. He then played in the subsequent tests against Wales and Italy.[18]

In June 2011, Fiji head coach Sam Domoni named Qera in the 43-man training squad for the 2011 Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand.[19] After starting at flanker in summer tests against Japan and New Zealand, Qera was handed the captaincy for the home test versus Tonga due to the resting of World Cup captain Deacon Manu.

2011 Rugby World Cup

A surprise non-starter in Fiji's opening pool game, a 49–25 victory versus Namibia, Qera came off the bench to make his first appearance of the tournament. He subsequently started at flanker in the defeat to South Africa, before featuring off the bench in the final pool games against Samoa and Wales.

2012 -

Qera received his first call-up to the Barbarians in the summer of 2012 and after making his debut against England also featured in the fixtures versus Ireland and Wales.

He originally opted to miss Fiji's 2012 European tour in favour of playing for Gloucester, however was a late inclusion to the Fiji squad ahead of their test versus England.

In May 2013 Qera was named in the Flying Fijians squad for the Pacific Nations Cup and captained the side in the 20–8 victory over Japan and 20–18 loss to Canada. In the Canada fixture Qera scored his first test try since 2007.

Qera has 35 full international caps for Fiji. He has also played in non-cap matches against Australia A, SC Albi and the Junior All Blacks twice.

International tries[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition
1 01/07/06 Nagai Stadium, Osaka Japan Win – 15–29 Pacific Nations Cup
2 14/07/06 Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Australia A Loss – 47–18 Non-cap Friendly
3 26/05/07 Churchill Park, Lautoka Japan Win – 30–15 Pacific Nations Cup
4 25/08/07 Stade Municipal, Camares SC Albi Win – 24–47 Non-cap Friendly
5 12/09/07 Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse Japan Win – 35–31 2007 Rugby World Cup
6 12/09/07 Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse Japan Win – 35–31 2007 Rugby World Cup
7 29/09/07 Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes Wales Win – 38–34 2007 Rugby World Cup
8 05/06/13 Twin Elm Rugby Park, Nepean Canada Loss – 20–18 Pacific Nations Cup

European Club statistics[edit]

Club League Appearances (points) Domestic Cup Appearances (points) European Appearances (points)
Birmingham and Solihull 23 (80 – 16T) 4 (5 – 1T) n/a
Gloucester Rugby 66 (80 – 14T) 15 (15 – 3T) 21 (40 – 8T)

Stats correct as of June 2012

Awards[edit]

Award Fiji Rugby Player of the Year Fiji Sportsman of the Year Premiership Player of the Season Gloucester Player of the Year
Year 2007 2007 2008 2010
Position 1st 2nd 3rd 1st

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stade Toulousain - Akapusi QERA : la fiche du joueur en détail
  2. ^ "Williams: We can't afford star Qera". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Gloucester flanker Akapusi Qera: It has been a hell of a journey". This is Gloucestershire. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Qera scoops top FRU award". Fiji Rugby. Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Flanker carries rugby's hope for award". Fiji Times. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Simpson-Daniel named Guinness Premiership player of the season". London: Daily Mail. 29 May 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Qera fast off the mark for Bees". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Gloucester sign Fiji flanker Qera". BBC.co.uk. 3 May 2007. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Carpenter, John (20 April 2008). "Akapusi Qera seals Leeds' relegation". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Qera hat-trick slays Dragons". Sky Sports. 24 January 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  11. ^ "Qera takes main prize at Awards Dinner". Gloucester Rugby. Archived from the original on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  12. ^ "Qera set to tame the Tigers". Fiji Live. Retrieved 3 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Gloucester's Mike Tindall and Akapusi Qera get Baa-Baas call-up". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "Toulouse sign Akapusi Qera from Gloucester". Gloucestershire Echo. 14 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Fijian resilience ends Wales World Cup hopes". WRU. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  16. ^ "Qera wants to play in Sevens World Cup". This is Gloucestershire. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "Akapusi Qera to captain Fiji against Scotland". Rugby Week. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  18. ^ "Eight changes for Fiji ahead of Wales clash". Yahoo! Sport. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  19. ^ "Fiji name 43-man squad". Planet Rugby. Retrieved 9 June 2010. 

External links[edit]