Joeli Vidiri

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Joeli Vidiri
Birth nameJoeli Vidiri
Date of birth (1973-11-23) 23 November 1973 (age 45)
Place of birthNausori, Fiji
Height190 cm (6 ft 3 in)
Weight100 kg (15 st 10 lb; 220 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Counties Manukau
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
1996–01 Blues 61 (215)43t
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
New Zealand

Joeli Vidiri (born 23 November 1973 in Nausori, in the highlands of Nadi, Nadroga-Navosa Province) is a retired Fijian rugby union footballer who also played for the New Zealand All Blacks. He played as a wing.


Vidiri studied at Queen Victoria School (Fiji). He represented Fiji in both 15s and sevens before coming to New Zealand in 1994. He played for the Auckland Blues in the Super 12 competition and represented Counties Manukau in the NPC. He only managed to play two tests for New Zealand in 1998. In 2001 he was diagnosed with a kidney illness and placed on dialysis treatment like his fellow Auckland Blues winger Jonah Lomu.

Vidiri played in the Super 12 for the Auckland Blues from 1996 until 2001, where he scored 43 tries in 61 games, at the time an individual record.[1] In 2000 Joeli created the record for most tries scored in one match scoring 4 against the Bulls, a record which has since been equalled but not yet broken. He had a song named after him (Give Me Hope Joeli) that was very popular with the Auckland Blues fans at home games at Eden Park. He appeared in only five Super 12 matches in 2001, with his illness impacting on his ability to play. In 2000 Vidiri played for the Barbarian F.C. against Leicester Tigers. Vidiri made 71 provincial appearances for Counties, for whom Vidiri scored 56 tries. After two early matches with Auckland in the 2001 NPC, he ended his career.

Post career[edit]

After his career was cut short, it was revealed that Vidiri had been waiting on a transplant for over a decade (accurate to 2013), and on 8 April 2013 episode of Campbell Live, it had been revealed he was talked out of a kidney transplant in 2008, and had taken himself out of the waiting list due to his mother's scepticism and traditional views against transplants and surgery. He currently lives and works in Pukekohe.[2]


  1. ^ "All Time Super Rugby Records –". Sports Digital 20 February 2008. Archived from the original on 7 April 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  2. ^ Joeli Vidiri on backing out of kidney transplant

External links[edit]