18th January 2019, 21:46 | StHelens

Kevin Naiqama: My God My Land

Kevin Naiqama: My God My Land

"Noqu Kalou Noqu Vanua"

The religious scriptures inked across the chest of St Helens’ new signings Kevin Naiqama are passages from John 3:16 and Romans 10:9, passages which identify one’s faith in Jesus. 

It’s not the only piece of art that graces the Fijian, his back has a dedicated drawing of ‘The Last Supper’.

Naqaima’s faith is what brought him and Saints’ new signing Joseph Paulo together as friends, now they will embark on a journey far from their homeland, together. 

“I’m a big believer that Jesus died and rose again for us.

“I’ve got tattoos at different times in my life, they all have a different meaning. 

“Most of them are based on my faith - I have scriptures and portraits of Jesus’ resurrection and crucifixion. 

“The ones on my back are of Jerusalem city, which is in the middle of my back with the last Supper at the bottom.

“Myself and Sefa [Joseph Paulo] go to church together with our partners here in Liverpool. 

“That’s actually how we met in Australia – we knew each other through church before footy, it’s great to be here on this journey with him,” said Naiqama. 

The former Wests Tigers’ star signed for Saints at the end of the season after playing 79 times for the NRL side, Naiqama and his wife have already started to explore their new home. 

“I think experiencing the culture is one of the reasons I moved here, England itself is a place that is so rich in history. 

“Me and my wife have really enjoyed going to museums and learning about how England was built. 

“Moving from a different environment and putting myself into something that is completely new is part of me getting out of my comfort zone - to grow as a player and person,” added Naiqama.

Kevin is not the first Naiqama to play in England, his brother Wes, previously played for London Broncos and was one of the reasons Kevin decided to come to Super League. 

“He was here at London Broncos for two years and he really loved it, he would’ve stayed if he had the opportunity. 

“Unfortunately, he had to retire a bit earlier than he wanted to because of his knee.

“He was very encouraging of the move and said it was a great experience – it’s been two months, so far, it’s gone really fast and I’m loving every minute of it so far,” the former Wests Tigers star admitted. 

Like his brother Wes, Kevin captained Fiji, and is known for the emotions he has shown during the national anthem, “Noqu Kalou Noqu Vanua’, which means, ‘My God My Land’.

“Anytime you get to play for your country of heritage is a great opportunity, to do that for myself, and to be blessed with the captaincy of the country of Fiji was an honour, and I’m truly grateful for that.

“The people and nation of Fiji are proud and it’s a proud country. 

“They love their sport, so it was an honour to represent those people and hopefully I can bring that and add that to the St Helens’ team. 

“I’m a person that wears my heart on my sleeve and will try to leave it all out on the floor,” admitted the Fijian international. 

Naiqama could make his Super League debut for St Helens in the opening fixture of Round One against Grand Final winners, Wigan Warriors.