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'Bring Tuwai into coaching team and eject players past their prime' - Delasau

By Chris Jones
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 04: Fiji's Vilimoni Delasau is tackled by Argentina's Enrique Pichot during their match at the WestpacTrust Stadium in the Telecom New Zealand International Sevens, Friday. DIGITAL IMAGE. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Vilimoni Delasau, the former Fiji rugby sevens wing, wants double Olympic Games gold medallist Jerry Tuwai added to the coaching team preparing the squad for the Paris Olympics this summer and to help secure a first HSBC SVNS title for Ben Gollings, the under fire head coach.

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Delasau told SUNsports, it is also vital that young talent is brought into the squad rather than continuing with established players who may have lost their edge at the highest level.

“But that is not happening,” he said. “If you watch these players now, some have passed their prime. We need to take new players who are hungry.”

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A recent meeting between Gollings and Tuwai reportedly cleared the air between the men after the playmaker revealed the coach had told him to play in regional tournaments to prove he can still be a force on the sevens circuit.

This prompted Tuwai to question Gollings’ ability to run the squad.

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Delasau, who played 29 times for the Flying Fijians and took part in the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups, registered 85 tries in his sevens career and added: “I am not too sure what the deal with Ben Gollings is?

“It hurts to see what can be done, is not being done. If I was to choose I will put him (Tuwai) in the coaching panel with (Sireli) Bobo, maybe (Isake) Katonibau or some other senior players who has done it before.

“Sevens (rugby) from my experience is one year, second year is okay. When it goes to the third year, you start to lose interest. You just go for the money or go for the tour. That’s what I experienced, in my third year I was looking forward to signing a fifteens contract and going overseas.

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“What is the use of development when we continue to pick the same players time and again? We do pick one or two new players but why not pick five or seven new players one go? What’s the use of development when we keep on picking the same squad?

“We have so much depth. At the Coral Coast tournament, some new players were also commended by USA coach Mike Friday.”

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