You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Maika Sivo hasn't been home to Momi for over a year but that didn't stop his Parramatta teammates from visiting the village as part of their Prime Minister's XIII tour on Wednesday.  

Eels captain Clint Gutherson joined Mitchell Moses, Reed Mahoney and Nathan Brown taking time out from camp to visit Sivo's family home, 45 minutes from Nadi airport.

The quartet were greeted by Sivo's mum Mere and soon swamped by children who had seen the players' bus from their school playground.

They quickly sprinted their way around the hills to get a glimpse of their heroes.

"It was cool to see how much the game means to them and what Maika means to them as well," Gutherson told In Fiji.

"They knew all our players and it's surreal to see how they grew up and go about their life. It was crazy how there's only one TV in the village but they knew everything about us.

"Going in I didn't think they would know us but they know your name, number and everything about you."

Mitchell Moses meets Maika Sivo's mum Mere in the village of Momi.
Mitchell Moses meets Maika Sivo's mum Mere in the village of Momi.

Momi holds around 130 houses and a population of about 400. There is only one satellite television hooked up in the village via Sivo's uncle for the family to watch the Eels winger play.

Sivo's father Joeli left Momi for the first time to visit Maika and watch him play live for the first time in August.

"You don't really see this perspective of the world too much," Mahoney said, reflecting on his first visit to Fiji.

Clint Gutherson shares a local custom with kava in Maika Sivo's village.
Clint Gutherson shares a local custom with kava in Maika Sivo's village. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

"Driving out here I thought and when we heard Maika's dad has never left the village you can see why. It's quite a far way out and an absolute eye opener."

Sivo took the NRL world by storm in 2019 to lead the NRL as top try scorer with 22 tries.

The family want the Fijian winger to remain in rugby league as interest from rugby union circles.

"I'm very proud of Maika playing in the NRL and where he ended up this season like a top class player," Mere said.

"I've never missed Maika's game. As a child Maika just liked to play and kick the footy. I want him to stay in rugby league and play for Parramatta."

The Eels players took part in a welcoming ceremony before tasting traditional Kava and finishing the visit with photos.

"I don't think I'm a fan [of kava]… and I had to go round two on it," Mahoney laughed.

"I had never tried it so it was good to be introduced to it and give it a go."

Sivo reflects on emotional reunion with dad

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Major Sponsor

Premier Partners

View All Partners