A WELSH-Fijian baby was born at the Royal Gwent Hospital during the Wales v Fiji Rugby World Cup match on Wednesday.

First time parents Jade Bedbrough and Timothy Tukandra-Durrant, grandson of the first Fijian family to settle in Wales, yesterday welcomed their daughter just as the full-time whistle blew on Wales’ 29-17 win.

Weighing 7lb 9oz, the new baby didn’t realise what a timely entrance she was making into the world. Mr Tukandra-Durrant’s grandparents, Tomoci and Meremsimani Tukandra, moved to Bettws, Newport, in 1967 where the family were embraced by the local community.


Over the years, the community have received visits from various Fiji rugby teams, who have been welcomed into the Tukandra family home.

Amele Tukandra, Timothy’s aunt, was even invited to Buckingham Palace for the reception for the Commonwealth Diaspora on February 14 last year in place of her parents who had passed away.

South Wales Argus:

(Amele Tukandra with her invitation to Buckingham Palace and a picture of her parents)

Speaking of the birth of his (yet to be named) daughter, Mr Tukandra-Durrant said: “It’s unreal, it hasn’t really sunk in yet.

“She was due on October 4, but she was definitely waiting for the game.”

Rugby is a passion of the Tukandra Family and they support both Wales and Fiji, but when they play against each other Fiji always take precedence.

Due to this, Mr Tukandra-Durrant was not planning on missing the match and he even live streamed the match during the labour.

The disappointing result for the Fiji team was masked by the joy of his first-born daughter – who he says will “definitely be a Fiji fan herself”.

The couple wanted to thank the staff at the Royal Gwent Hospital for a “brilliant experience”, particularly Midwives Esther and Olivia who supported Jade through the birth.

Mum and baby are now doing well after arriving home earlier today – which is, rather fittingly, Fiji Day.