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The three fixable factors behind Eddie Jones' England stagnation

Eddie Jones' England weren't far away from making the grade.

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Ben Gollings' message to fans as his first Fiji Sevens side named

By Chris Jones
Fiji's Jerry Tuwai offloads against the USA Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Former England star Ben Gollings has told Fiji rugby fans his appointment as national sevens head coach should not be seen as bringing immediate success warning it is “not a sprint, it’s more of a marathon and a journey”.

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Golling’s first challenge brings him back to Europe with Fiji taking part in the Malaga and Seville 7s tournaments to be held on January 21-23 and January 28-30. This follows a disappointing showing in Dubai which took place before Gollings was appointed to succeed Olympic gold medal winning coach Gareth Baber who is now part of the Edinburgh coaching team.

Gollings has started the process of getting to know his squad which has been boosted by the return of Jerry Tuwai following his wedding. Gollings said: “It’s taking stages at the moment. The main focus is the two tournaments in Spain — Malaga and Seville. It just getting to know the players and starting to understand them.

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“We will build it from here. I am honoured to be here and to be appointed in this role. I’ve always had a quite close connection with Fiji — both playing and through friends I have. I am excited and really happy to be here.”

Two new players are expected to make their debut for the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s side after being named in the travelling squad to Spain. Army half-back Filipo Bukayaro and forward Jiosavani Soro are the new men and Interim sevens coach Saiasi Fuli, who took the squad to Dubai, said: “They are two talented and hardworking players and they have been playing consistently for their clubs.

“Bukayaro in the long term is a good replacement for Jerry Tuwai hence that is the reason we have roped him plus he has proven himself to be in the traveling squad to Spain.

“As for Soro, he is one of the hardworking forwards in Fiji. He has played for Tabadamu 7s, Tailevu plus Naitasiri 15s side. He is very good in aerial balls, technical work in the contact and breakdown area.”

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Fuli said that Tuwai’s return had brought immediate dividends and added: “We released him for his wedding. He has been training hard and leading by example. His inclusion will provide valuable experience and depth in the squad.

“We did a lot of reviews and then outlined the priorities of our work on. These players are well-conditioned and are ready to go back, play and provide positive results.”

Josua Vakurinabili remains the captain and will be assisted by Tuwai and Waisea Nacuqu.

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s squad :
Josua Vakurinabili
Joseva Talacolo
Jeremaia Matana
Elia Canakaivata
Jiosavani Soro
Tevita Daugunu
Jerry Tuwai
Filipo Bukayaro
Waisea Nacuqu
Kaminieli Rasaku
Filipe Sauturaga
Iowane Teba
Manueli Maisamoa

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