- 22 Age
- 113kg Weight
- 193cm Height
Born and bred in Australia, but with a deep Fijian heritage, Rob Valetini has had ‘future Wallaby’ written all over him since he emerged as an aged representative in his home state of Victoria. A prodigiously talented back-row forward, Valetini impressed with his bruising physicality, strong ball carrying and a deft offloading game.
Valetini was educated at Melbourne’s Westall Secondary College from where he represented Victorian state squads at U16, U18 and U20 levels. In 2016 he missed the Australian schoolboy trials with a broken right fibula and as a result was not considered for selection in the side that toured to New Zealand.
Valetini made up for the lost opportunity when he became just the second schoolboy to play in the National Rugby Championship and then later in the year just the second forward, after Luke Jones, to sign a full Super Rugby contract while still at high school.
Valetini had a very successful 2017 when selected in the Australian U20’s for the Junior World Cup in Georgia before he joined the Brumbies’ Extended Playing Squad. Unfortunately luck simply deserted Valetini in 2018 when his Super Rugby debut, against the Sunwolves, lasted just 20 minutes after he suffered a grade three medial collateral ligament tear in his left knee.
Worse was to come three months later when he suffered the exact same injury against the Lions in Johannesburg. Adding insult to the injury was the fact that Valetini’s MCL tear forced him to withdraw from the Junior Wallabies for the U20s World Cup in France.
However, there was a silver lining to a near forgettable year when Valetini’s devastating NRC form earned him a spot as a development player on the Wallabies end-of-season Spring Tour.
A strong 2019 Super Rugby tournament led to Valetini named in the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship squad before he won a Test debut against Samoa.
Valetini won his first Test cap when he replaced Jack Dempsey at No. 8 in the 72nd minute of the 34-15 win over Samoa in Sydney.