Levani Botia, born on March 14, 1989, in Naitasiri, is a Fijian rugby union player known for his versatility in playing as a centre, flanker, and wing. He is nicknamed "Demolition Man." Botia currently plays for the French club La Rochelle and represents the Fiji national team.
Botia's rugby journey began when he played for the Warden's 7's team in a local competition while working as a prison officer. He left school after class eight to focus on his rugby career.
After moving to Suva, he played for the Suva development side and later for City Eagles. He caught the attention of former Fiji 7's coach Waisale Serevi, who included him in the sevens team for the 2011 Pacific Games.
Despite an injury that ruled him out for most of the 2012-13 season, Botia was part of the Fiji team for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
In February 2014, Botia joined the Pro D2 rugby side La Rochelle. He made his international debut for the Fiji national team against Portugal during the 2013 end-of-year rugby union internationals, scoring a try in his debut match.
He went on to represent Fiji in various matches, including a centennial match against the Barbarians and matches against France and in the 2015 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup. He was also selected for the Fiji squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Botia's playing style is characterized by powerful runs, strong tackles, and tackle busts. He is known for his versatility, being able to excel in both forward and back positions. He has been a key player for La Rochelle, helping the team win the European Rugby Champions Cup in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons.
He has also been a runner-up in the European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup.
As of September 2020, Botia had made 119 appearances for La Rochelle, scoring 110 points. In January 2022, he signed a new two-year contract extension with La Rochelle, committing to the club until 2022.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, Botia has been named in the training squad for Fiji.
|2017 - present|
|2018 - present|
|2022 - 2022|