A Cornish rugby player and Royal Navy sailor has headed off to Fiji to prepare for the games of his life.

Sam Matavesi is representing Fiji in the Rugby World Cup – to be held this September in Japan.

The 27-year-old lives in Camborne and is well known in Cornwall as a player with the Cornish Pirates rugby team. For the last two months, Sam has been on loan to French side Stade Toulousain, which has just taken the national premiership league title.

Alongside his rugby, Sam also works as an able rating in the supply chain department at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, which he joined in July 2017.

His supervisor, Petty Officer Dean Jones, said: “Sam is a noisy, larger than life character. You can usually hear him before you see him. We wish him all the best from here at Culdrose. One of the games is on at 11 o’clock in the morning so we might have to down tools and cheer him on.

“I think it’s fair to say that everyone in the supply chain department has now become Fiji’s number one fans.”

Sam’s work involves issuing stores to all Culdrose squadrons. Anyone who has driven past the station towards the Lizard peninsula will have seen the large green building named W16 with the sign ‘RNAS Culdrose Supply Chain Department’.

Sam has already gained experience playing for Fiji six times with games against Scotland, Uruguay and France. He has also represented the Royal Navy at Twickenham three times against the army, been on a USA tour for the navy and been selected for the combined services and Fleet Air Arm rugby teams.