Turuva prepares for Fijian homecoming

Sunia Turuva is ready for a big 2024. Photo: NRL Photos.
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Dally M Rookie of the Year Sunia Turuva will return home to his native Fiji for Christmas, to spread a little Panther cheer to his adoring family.

The 21-year-old Premiership winner is due to arrive in the holiday hotspot on Thursday, just in time for Santa’s arrival next week.

Speaking with the Weekender, Turuva said he was looking forward to seeing his loved ones and showing off his prized piece of jewellery from October’s Grand Final.

“I don’t know if my premiership ring will come back… the family will probably want to keep it,” he laughed.

“I know the whole village gathered together in one house to watch the game, so I’ll bring the ring along because I know they’ll want to see it.

“It’s been a while since I was last over there, so it should be good to see family over in Fiji.”

Fiji won’t be the only destination Turuva has his eyes on, with the north of England also on the cards.

Sunia Turuva celebrates with Ivan Cleary. Photo: NRL Images.

The Panthers will head to the United Kingdom in February to play 2023 Super League Champions Wigan in the World Club Challenge. It will be the first time since 2004 a Panthers team has travelled to England for the contest.

Penrith have never secured a World Club Challenge title in three previous attempts, with their latest loss coming earlier this year against St Helens at BlueBet Stadium.

“When we lost to St Helens in February, that was massive… I know it hurt the boys a lot,” Turuva said.

“A win in England will be huge to not only give us a good start to the year, but also to finally get one back for our fans back home.”

After year that saw him win an NRL premiership and several Rookie of the Year honours, 2024 is shaping up to be another year to remember for the lovable try-scoring machine.

Sunia Turuva. Photo: Megan Dunn.

While he’s been back at pre-season training the past few weeks, Turuva just can’t stop thinking about everything he achieved in his rookie year.

“Bro, I’ll be honest, I can’t stop eh,” he admitted.

“I need to keep reminding myself that we’re onto the next pre-season already. As much as I’ve enjoyed it, I need to switch my focus and get ready to go again.”

When he hits the field for Penrith’s opening round clash against Melbourne on March 8, Turuva will be aiming to build on the stand-out season he’s just had, which saw him play in 26 matches and score 12 tries.

“I’m just going to take it one game at a time again – exactly how I did it this year,” he said.

“2024 shouldn’t be any different. I’ll just be trying to focus on each game at a time and each training session at a time.”

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