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Young Guns: Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti

Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti

Having gained a scholarship at Terrington Hall Prep School in York, rugby-mad Fijian Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti was just 11 when he made the long journey from his home country to the UK – a trip that would change his life in more ways than one.

Raised by his grandparents after his mother passed away when he was six, Nordli-Kelemeti, like most Fijian youngsters, was brought up admiring the daring-do of the great Rupeni Caucaunibuca while playing his early rugby at the LDS Primary School in Suva.

Then everything changed. Nordli-Kelemeti, 19, explains: “One of the parents whose son was at Terrington Hall was born in Fiji. He worked for the Fijian Rugby Union and decided it would be a good idea to bring Fijian boys over to go to school and play rugby.

“That’s how it started. I was lucky enough to be selected for a sports scholarship and, after attending Terrington Hall, I then moved to Durham School where I entered Newcastle’s developing player pathway through our academy manager Mark Laycock.

“He’s been with me all the way through from the age of 15 and during the academy process Aiden McNulty has helped me a lot as well. It’s been an amazing journey so far and, after making my first team debut last season, I’m looking to push on now.”

Nordli-Kelemeti is a talented No.9 now, but he actually started as a hooker before switching to centre and then having a stint at No.8.

“Having played in a number of different positions, it’s given me a pretty good understanding of the game,” he says. “Eventually I settled at scrum-half and I’ve got some pretty good role models at Falcons in Tane Takulua, Micky Young and Sam Stuart. Being a fellow Pacific Islander, there’s empathy between Tane and myself and he’s really helped with my skills.

“Micky went to Durham School and has been very influential in my development while Sam’s a skilful player as well, so we’ve got a good group of scrum-halves and I’m trying to compete as hard as I can against them now to try and get more game time.”

Nordli-Kelemeti cites New Zealand’s Aaron Smith as “one of the most consistent scrum-halves in the world” as he ramps up his bid for a first team spot. If you want info on what free bets you should be claiming head over to the guys at free bet info to get you up to speed with your wager.

He said: “I was travelling reserve quite a lot last year and that was a good experience. I knew I wasn’t likely to play much but I still had to have my head on it and saw how the senior pros prepared.

“Rugby-wise, I played a lot of Premiership Shield whilst being dual-registered with Tynedale. Now I’m dual-registered with Darlington Mowden Park in National One and I’d like to think I’ll get a chance to challenge for some games in the Championship.”

Having represented England at U18 level, Nordli-Kelemeti would love to follow in the footsteps of another young Fijian who’s ripping it up for England. He added: “What Joe Cokanasiga is doing is inspirational and I’m pushing for that top level.”

NEALE HARVEY

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