The Bath sensation lived across the world before making his mark in English rugby

Who is Joe Cokanasiga: Ten things you should know about the England wing

Joe Cokanasiga combines pace and power to create the spectacular.

The Bath and England star’s story, which began in Fiji, features an outstanding international record.

Ten things you should know about Joe Cokanasiga

1. Ratu Josateki Tuivanuavou Waqanivalu Cokanasiga was born on 15 November 1997 in Suva, Fiji.

His father, Ilaitia, was in the British Army and the family moved to England when Joe was three years old. The pair once played together in an army tournament, forming a centre partnership.

2. He spent parts of his childhood in Brunei and Germany before returning to England in 2013.

3. He joined the London Irish Academy in 2015, before signing his first professional contract the following year.

In his first season with the senior side, Cokanasiga demonstrated his devastating strength and pace as the Exiles won promotion to the Premiership.

4. He was a surprise selection for England’s 2017 summer tour to Argentina, but was forced to pull out with injury.

5. He made his England debut in October 2018 against Japan and scored a try. He also crossed in his second cap against Australia the following week.

6. After Irish were relegated in 2018, he moved to Bath, adding firepower to a back-line already featuring Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni and Jonathan Joseph.

7. Cokanasiga made England’s 2019 Rugby World Cup squad and scored twice in his opening appearance against USA, but did not play again in the tournament. On return from Japan, he was sidelined for nearly a year with a knee injury.

8. When Ilaitia was blocked from returning to the UK in 2020 due to expired immigration documents, Joe launched a campaign that led to his father being granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) by the Home Office.

Since the success, Joe has continued pushing for the ILR application fee to be scrapped for Commonwealth veterans. The law was subsequently altered in veterans’ favour in February 2022.

9. His younger brother, Phil, also came through the London Irish Academy and signed for Leicester Tigers in May 2022.

10. After nearly two years out of the side, Cokanasiga returned to the England fold in summer 2021. He scored four times in two games against USA and Canada, taking his international record to 11 tries in as many games.

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.