Serevi, the third of five children, was born on May 20, 1968, in Suva, Viti Levu. He was brought up by conservative Christians who were active church members. Serevi was first motivated to take up rugby after watching Fiji defeat the British Lions in 1977 as a young boy. He missed the game, but after witnessing how joyful the Fijians were after winning, he decided to start playing rugby. Between 1989 and 2003, he competed 39 times for Fiji in the 15-man game, contributing 376 points. This included playing Fiji at the Rugby World Cups in 1991, 1999, and 2003. He also participated in rugby league for the Mitsubishi, Leicester, Stade Montois, Stade Bordelais, and Staines rugby teams.
Fiji Rugby legend Waisale Serevi is also the first Fijian rugby player ever inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame. Quite uncharacteristically, Serevi was also the player who was able to take his excellent skills from sevens into the 15-man game, appearing in a total of three Rugby World Cups for Fiji Rugby. Able to flip the game around at a moment’s notice with the swing of Waisale Serevi’s hips, the immovable step-over, or a beautifully weighted passing move, Serevi was the beating heart of the Fijian side, scoring 1310 points on the World Rugby Sevens Series, as well as a record-breaking 297 points at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, lifting the Melrose Cup two times, 1997 and 2005.
Waisale Serevi is considered one, if not the most outstanding, rugby sevens player ever. Seremaia Jerry Tuwai was not only the first Fijian but also the first worldwide twice to win the Olympic gold medal in rugby sevens. Serevi was dropped from the squad because of fitness issues and the wish to develop new players in time for the 2004 Rugby World Cup Sevens. A three-time Commonwealth medallist, Waisale Serevi, became the player-coach of Fiji in 2005, leading Fiji to their first ever World Series title in their inaugural season. Osea Kolinisau (Fiji) played in a then-record 62 events for Fiji on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series; his 1,272 points total bettered only by fellow World Rugby Hall of Fame member Waisale Serevi.
In 2008, Fiji Rugby announced that Waisale Serevi would be returning to the role of coach for Fiji at the 2008-09 IRB World Sevens Series and the Rugby World Cup in Dubai; however, in January 2009, he was controversially fired. Capable of rare feats on the rugby field, Serevi was a driving force for Fijis teams throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Waisale Serevi had been appointed director of rugby union and head coach of the sevens programme at the Rugby Football Club Old Puget Sound Beach (OPSB) in Seattle, the current US Sevens National Champion.