Peni Ravai Kovekalou, born on 16 June 1990, is a talented Fijian rugby union player who excels as a hooker and prop. He currently represents both the Flying Fijians at the international level and the Reds in Super Rugby. Throughout his career, he has showcased his versatility by also playing at center and on the wings.
Ravai initially played rugby in the backline, featuring as a wing and center. However, when he reached the provincial level, he transitioned to the forward pack due to limited opportunities in the backline. He emerged as Nadroga's starting prop and occasionally played in the flanks as well as the backline.
He also represented Davetalevu in 7's rugby and contributed to the victory of the Fiji Barbarians team in the Uprising 7's tournament.
In February 2013, Ravai earned a spot in the Fiji 7's team, replacing the injured Josua Tuisova. He made his international 7's debut at the 2013 USA Sevens, becoming Fiji's first prop to represent the country in international 7's rugby.
Following his success in the 7's format, he was recruited by Inoke Male, the Fiji 15's coach, to join the team for the 2013 end-of-year rugby union internationals. He made his debut as a substitute at hooker against Romania.
In August 2014, he signed with the Greater Sydney Rams to participate in the newly created National Rugby Championship in Australia. Ravai made his debut at hooker for the Rams in October of that year. In May 2015, he was selected for the Fiji Warriors team to tour Uruguay during the mid-year rugby union internationals.
He started as a loosehead prop in the first match against Uruguay and retained his place in the starting XV for the following game against Argentina Jaguars. The Warriors achieved victory in all their matches on the tour. Ravai was also included in Fiji's squad for the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, making appearances as a substitute against the Māori All Blacks and starting at loosehead prop against Samoa.
In May 2016, Ravai captained the Fiji Warriors side to a two-match win against the Uruguay national team during the mid-year rugby union internationals. He then signed with the Woodlands Rugby Club, aiming to secure a place in the Southland Stags side for the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup. He officially joined the Southland Stags in July 2016, making his debut against Otago in the first round.
Ravai's performances drew attention in France, leading to a contract with Pro D2 side Aurillac, where he scored three tries in 12 appearances. He continued to represent Fiji in international competitions, featuring in the 2017 mid-year rugby union internationals and the 2017 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup.
He subsequently signed with Bordeaux Bègles in the Top 14 for the 2017/18 season. In May 2020, he made a move to Top 14 rivals Clermont Auvergne ahead of the 2020-21 season.
Furthermore, Ravai recently joined the Reds on a one-year contract for the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season, showcasing his continued dedication to the sport at the highest level.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, Ravai has been named in the training squad for Fiji.
|2013 - present
|2023 - present
|Greater Sydney Rams
|2014 - 2015
|2016 - 2017
|2017 - 2017
|Union Bordeaux Begles
|2017 - 2020
|2020 - 2022