LA Giltinis signed Serupepeli Vularika for the remainder of the 2021 Major League Rugby season. Seru, who will be 31 years old next week, has represented Fiji at scrumhalf. The 5’5″, 190 lb back, has also played inside center, wing, and fullback.
Seru was born and raised in Suva, Fiji. According to the Fiji Times, he attended Assemblies of God High School before transferring to Lelean Memorial School Academy. In addition to school rugby, he played for Airport Rugby Club, Vurikoro, Rewa U20s, and the Nadi U20s. He played rugby sevens for Redrock in 2011 and 2014, and the five years he spent as a fireman, he spent time playing for the National Fire Authority’s Rugby Team.
Seru progressed to play for Suva Rugby Club and won the Skipper Cup in 2020. He also had a national presence with the Fiji Warriors, where he initially played in the Pacific Challenge in 2016 and last played in 2021.
Seru played for the Fijian Drua, which won Australia’s National Rugby Championship in 2018. He also was the captain of Fijian Latui in the only Global Rapid Rugby match the team played in 2020 before the cancellation of the season due to the pandemic.
Seru has represented Fiji’s Senior National Team at scrumhalf and has 12 caps. He made his debut on 11 June 2016 against Tonga at Suva and the last test was against Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup on 5 December 2020 at Murrayfield, Scotland. He also played for the Flying Fijian against the Barbarians.
Seru has also continued his education at the University of Fiji (2016-2019).
LA Giltinis Comments
The LA Giltinis have added a dynamic dose of Fijian flair with today’s announcement that utility back Seru Vularika has been signed for two seasons.
Vularika, 30, is a current member of the Flying Fijians team and can add to his 12 Test caps with the strong form he shows in Major League Rugby.
Playing attacking rugby is in Vularika’s blood and he shapes as a likely cult hero for his new Los Angeles-based club with his crowd-pleasing array of skills.
His elusive running, backhanded flick passes, fingertip handling, and lust for big hits are a potent package when he can play inside center and halfback and even fullback or wing.
Even though he has been playing Test rugby since 2016, this is Vularika’s first chance to develop in a full-time professional program.
“The opportunity with the Giltinis is exciting because this is the first time, for me, to get a professional contract overseas,” Vularika said.
“Everything will be new to me…a new city, a new environment to learn a lot of stuff and new teammates.
“All I know of Los Angeles is that it’s a well-known place in the world and a lot of actors live there.”
“I enjoy running the ball but also I like smashing them in defence because the physical contact of the game is for me,” Vularika said.
“I love rugby and being able to pass on skills to kids in the community in Los Angeles is something I really want to do.
“With all the top players at the Giltinis, I know I will be learning a lot.”
Not only is the arrival of Seru Vularika and Jonetani Vasurakuta a boost for the depleted Giltinis and the Fijian community within Los Angeles, but it also a strong example of the work that has been done within World Rugby’s Pacific Island Player Placement Programme into the MLR.