|Date of birth||1980-06-05|
|Place of birth||Flag of Fiji Fiji|
|Rugby union career|
|2005-present||Flag of France Agen|
|correct as of .|
|correct as of .|
|correct as of .|
|2004-present||Flag of Fiji Fiji|
25px Pacific Islanders
|correct as of 1 Sept 2006.|
Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Template:IPA2, born 5 June 1980) is a Fijian rugby union footballer. He plays wing for French club side Agen and the Fiji national team, and formerly played for New Zealand-based teams such as Super Rugby's Blues and provincial side Northland. He is also known as 'Caucau' (Template:IPA2).
Caucaunibuca returned to Fiji from France in late May to prepare for games against New Zealand Māori and the All Blacks and in time for Fiji's World Cup qualifiers, but failed to appear in any of the June or July matches. He missed Fiji's first World Cup qualifying match against Tonga in Suva but was recalled for their subsequent match against Samoa. After assuring Fiji coach Wayne Pivac he would play, Caucaunibuca missed a flight to Samoa saying he had been forced to remain in Fiji with his wife who had an infected tooth.
The Fiji Rugby Union banned him for one year, ruling him out of the 2005 autumn tour of Europe and the 2006 South Pacific Tri-Nations series.
In May 2006 his one year ban was lifted after he showed remorse and a desire to play for Fiji. In his return match, he scored a try as Fiji lost to the Junior All Blacks, 35-17 in Suva. Later, in a mid-year Test against Six Nations participant Italy, he scored one of Fiji's four tries in a 29-18 win. When Caucau failed to arrive in France for Agen's preseason training camp in July 2006, it was widely rumoured that he had yet again displayed his past lack of discipline. However, Agen's management confirmed that he had contracted a tropical virus in Fiji and had been hospitalized there for several weeks. He was released in August, but lost 12 kg (27 lb) during his illness. Rupeni did not make the return flight to France, as he had been told by his doctor that he could not travel abroad because of his sickness. During his recovery, he witnessed the birth of his daughter. Contrary to reports that he had decided to retire prematurely from rugby, he had also confirmed that he had spoken to his agent, who relayed the message to his Agen Club president that he would join them in the near future. Caucau would eventually be cleared for travel abroad, and would return to France that October. He made his comeback in Agen's first 2006-07 Heineken Cup fixture, a 19-17 home win over Edinburgh. Although he did not score, he was named man of the match.
Caucaunibuca has been described in the media as "one of the fastest and most flamboyant players in international rugby". Scotland international Chris Paterson said of Caucaunibuca that "when he is fit, [he] can be the world's best player" and that he "is the type who can win a game almost on his own." England international centre Mike Tindall describes him as "the best player I have ever played against." For the last two seasons in France, Caucaunibuca has been the league's top try scorer.  In October 2006 he was awarded France's Player of the Year award.
He was named in the Pacific Islanders rugby union team squad for the 2006 tour of Europe. However he only played in the match against Scotland after missing the first game against Wales and losing his passport thus not making the last match of the series against Ireland.In the Islanders game against Scotland he scored one try and set up another one for Daniel Leo.
On Friday the 9th of March it was announced that Rupeni had incurred a 3 month ban after testing positive for cannabis use following Agen's Top14 match against Montauban on the 24th of March.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag.
He is also honorary chairman of Rupeni RFU touch rugby team.
In Fiji's first game of the world cup Rupeni scored a try against France that can easily be found on Youtube, in the try you see the pace of the man. He has a unique running style where his jog is a normal mans gallop, but he has an extra gear he uses to beat men on the inside and outside. This extra pace is turned on very quick and he hits top speed almost instantly. A top speed that is maybe the fastest in world rugby. In this same game Rupeni was given a 2 match suspension for fighting and subsequently missed the next two pool matches vs Japan and the US; Two games that had Rupeni played, could have further showed the world his devastating power. In his final world cup appearance against Scotland. A must win match for both teams Rupeni did his best to almost single handedly keep Fiji's world cup dream alive and end prematurely end Scotland's at the pool match stages; Scoring two individual tries that can be credited to Rupeni's individual talent. Both tries can be found on youtube. Fiji subsequently lost this game and Rupeni's time at the world cup was short lived.
- ↑ "Banned Caucau gets early reprieve", BBC Sport, 29 May 2006. Retrieved on 2006-06-07.
- ↑ "Italy fall to Fiji in Lautoka: Caucau and company leave Azzurri standing", Planet-Rugby.com, 17 June 2006. Retrieved on 2006-06-17.
- ↑ "No Early Retirement for Caucau", /www.fijivillage.com, 11 August 2006. Retrieved on 2006-08-30.
- ↑ "Agen snatch a late victory", Planet-Rugby.com, 20 October 2006. Retrieved on 2006-10-22.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Fiji wing wins French rugby award", CNN, October 9, 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-19.
- ↑ Lothian, Bill. "Paterson ready to face 'world's best player'", scotsman.com, 2006-11-15. Retrieved on 2006-12-19.
- ↑ "High Praise for Man-of-the-Match Rupeni", 12 January 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-14.
- ↑ Official TOP 16 statistics, 2004-05 (in French; click on "Les meilleurs marquers"). Accessed 2006-06-17.
- ↑ Official TOP 14 statistics, 2005-06 (in French; click on "Les meilleurs marquers"). Accessed 2006-06-17.