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Young Aitutakian toughs it out

Wednesday 25 January 2012 | Published in Regional


Aitutaki warriors are known for being tough, but one NRL hopeful is showing doctors at the Canberra Raiders just how tough they can be.

Nga Simiona Junior this week left the Cook Islands to rejoin the Canberra Raiders junior teams and try to bust his way into its senior NRL side.

But before he can hit the field proper, Simiona will undergo surgery to right a lingering arm injury that has dogged him for two years.

Doctors have decided to operate on Simionas arm, tired of waiting for him to re-break it during play.

Simionas father, Nga Simiona Senior, said his son had broken his arm during a rugby league nines tournament in Aitutaki about two years ago.

Doctors at the Raiders have been keen to repair the damage done during the break, but required it to be broken and re-set.

They thought, Nga Senior said, that Simiona would break his arm at some stage during play on the field.

But five games later, Simionas arm remained intact.

Nga Senior reported doctors were impressed by the fact that Simiona could even play with his arm the way it was, let alone playing without reinjuring it for five games.

That show of strength, along with other physical attributes, had people at the club comparing him to a league legend, Nga Senior said.

People say hes like the next Mal Meninga, because of his thighs and because of this, he said.

Nga Senior said his son was missing the Cook Islands but enjoying his time at the Raiders.

He said he was excited at the prospect of seeing his son on television one day playing for the Raiders.

The people of Aitutaki share that enthusiasm too, Nga Senior said.

My hopes, and everyones hopes in Aitutaki, is that we will see him on television. Thats the big hope, he said.