Ratu Meli Derenalagi, born on 26 November 1998, is a forward in the Fiji national rugby sevens team. He is recognized for his exceptional offloading skills on the field. Rugby runs in his family, as his uncles Semisi Naevo and Apenisa Naevo, as well as his father Ratu Vuniani Derenalagi, have also represented Fiji in rugby sevens.
Derenalagi had an impressive start to his career, earning the Rookie of the Year title in 2019. In 2020, he had the honor of captaining the Fiji 7s side to their first Sydney Sevens title, securing a thrilling 12-10 victory over South Africa in the final.
His talent and contributions led to his selection for the Fijian squad at the 2020 Summer Olympics in the men's rugby sevens tournament. He played a crucial role in Fiji's journey to the gold medal, as they emerged victorious by defeating New Zealand 24-12 in the final. This achievement marked a historic moment for Fiji in Olympic rugby sevens.
Looking at Derenalagi's playing record, he represented Fiji Under 20 in 2018, earning four caps. Subsequently, he became a key player for the Fijian 7s team, accumulating 86 caps and scoring 22 tries during the 2019/2020 season. He continued his success by participating in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, earning six caps.
Derenalagi has achieved several notable accomplishments throughout his career. He was part of the Fijian team that won the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2018/2019. Additionally, he was honored as the World Rugby Rookie of the Year for the same season. In 2018/2019, he also served as the captain of the Fijian 7s team. Furthermore, he won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
On a lighter note, it is interesting to know that Derenalagi is an actual sailor and enjoys exploring Fiji's islands, showcasing his adventurous side.
Overall, Ratu Meli Derenalagi is a highly skilled forward in rugby sevens, known for his remarkable offloading ability. He has made significant contributions to the Fijian national team, earning numerous accolades and playing a crucial role in Fiji's success at the Olympic Games.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, Derenalagi has been named in the training squad for Fiji.
|2022 - present|
|2023 - present|
|2018 - 2022|