Fiji’s bid to recapture the HSBC World Rugby Sevens title has received a major boost with Waisea Nacuqu, who broke his collar bone 10 weeks ago, being declared fit for the final two legs in London and Paris.
However, the squad will leave for Europe on Wednesday without head coach Gareth Baber who has a bacterial infection and is due to link up with the squad at the weekend with his departure form Fiji expected to be on Friday.
Nacuqu was injured at the Las Vegas Sevens event at the start of March and has returned ahead of schedule to give head coach Baber another attacking threat to add to his armoury as Fiji attempt to overhaul Series leaders USA who have a three point advantage over the reigning Olympic champions heading into the London leg starting on May 25. Baber is confident his men have learnt the painful lessons of 12 months ago when they were denied the title by South Africa in Paris.
Baber said: “We know the challenge ahead of us. We have a mission going into the next two tournaments and I believe the players named in the squad are ready to deliver at the London 7s next weekend. We know there’s a lot of expectation around this tournament, but pressure is just a perception, it’s not real, and it’s up to us to keep our minds on what we have to do to play our way and execute what we want to do as a team on the park.”
Captain Paula Dranisinukula will lead a squad that includes play-maker Jerry Tuwai who has recovered from a hamstring injury suffered in the Singapore tournament. The squad also includes Sevuloni Mocenecagi, Josua Vakurinabili , Ratu Meli Derenelagi, Livai Ikanikoda and Napolioni Ratu following a fifth successive title in Hong Kong and strong showing at the Singapore 7s last month. Fiji have drawn in a pool with Kenya, France and Samoa for the London Sevens.
Fiji Sevens squad for London and Paris.
Paula Dranisinukula (C)
Ratu Meli Derenalagi
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