The Houston SaberCats re-signed Osea Kolinisau for a third Major League Rugby season. Osea is from Suva, Fiji, is 34-years-old, 5’8″, and 200 lbs.
During the 2019 MLR season, Osea played 1004 minutes in 13 matches and scored 2 tries. He made 74 tackles and kicked 13 times for 282 meters. He also is a SaberCats Academy coach.
During 2018 he played in all eight matches at center and occasionally at fullback.
Osea played club rugby for Covenant Brother Rugby Club and in the 2012 Coral Coast Sevens tournament, for the Serevi Selects.
He is best known for being the most capped player for the Fiji Sevens team and for leading Fiji as captain to the country’s first Olympic Gold Medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Osea made his debut for the Fiji Sevens team in 2008 at the Dubai Sevens and played with the team until 2017. He became captain of the team in 2014 and led Fiji to two consecutive first-place finishes in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the 2014-15 and the 2015-16 seasons. Osea is the 12th all-time HSBC Sevens Series point scorer with 1272 points. He played in 301 matches and scored 122 tries.
He was the flag bearer for Team Fiji at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and became a national hero and celebrity after the rugby team beat Great Britain 43-7 to win the Gold Medal. He scored the team’s first try in the Gold Medal match.
Following the Olympic Games, he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Fiji, which is presented for achievement and merit to Fiji and mankind as a whole. He is also depicted on a commemorative Fiji 7 Dollar Banknote.
Ben Ryan also arranged for a scholarship to be offered to attend Loughborough University, but soon after came the opportunity to play professionally in the inaugural Major League Rugby season for the Houston SaberCats.
Sometimes, timing is everything and with his marriage to Mere Tavu Fa, the economic incentive for stability was important.
Osea was a key contributor for the SaberCats during the 2018 season. he played in all eight matches and was the co-team leader in tries with Josua Vici with five. That placed both players in 5th place as MLR try-scorers. His leadership was invaluable both on the pitch and off. His rugby knowledge was shared with the team and through his Academy coaching.
The 2019 Major League Rugby season should be an exciting one. The team’s roster has improved and Osea should be a team leader again. The 2019 season is a 16 match regular season and the team has reinforcements available, if needed, from the West Houston Lions Division 1 side.
Having the opportunity to return to Fiji to visit with family and friends was important following the season. He has been back with the team since October and is attending to his coaching responsibilities and also in preparation for the 2019 season.