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Fiji 7s identify two targets

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Fiji 7s eyeing up next two future stars

After winning the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series this year, guaranteeing that they will be at Tokyo 2020 to defend their Olympic title, Fiji 7s have had a productive year.

In addition to winning five of the 10 legs on the series, four of Fiji’s players went on to make the HSBC Dream Team, including team talisman Jerry Tuwai and the ever-dangerous Aminiasi Tuimaba.

Meli Derenalagi also made the team, as well as picking up the Rookie of the Year award, whilst Vilimoni Botitu, the DHL Impact Player of the Year, was the fourth member of the Dream Team. Both Derenalagi and Botitu were in their first seasons with the group.

RugbyPass understand that the next two players to follow in the footsteps Derenalagi and Botitu could be recent World Rugby U20 Championship stars Osea Waqa and Simione Kuruvoli.

Like Derenalagi and Botitu, who starred in the U20 Trophy in 2018, Waqa and Kuruvoli are being eyed up for swift moves over the seven-a-side format, to further strengthen the group ahead of the Olympics next year.

Waqa shone out in Argentina over the last month, as his incisive running and eye for space helped Fiji hurt teams on the counter-attack and allowed them to stay in games, even if they weren’t getting the platform up front that they needed.

The full-back was among the standout performers of any side in the tournament, with his creative display against Scotland in the match that saw Fiji avoid relegation one of, if not the best individual performance at the Championship.

Kuruvoli meanwhile is a versatile scrum-half who can also step in at fly-half if needed and Gareth Baber, Fiji 7s head coach, could well be looking at him as a developmental prospect that, if it clicks for the youngster, could become a sevens player in the mould of Tuwai.

Player retention is always a challenge for Fiji 7s, given the money on offer for players in Europe, and with Mesulame Kunavalu having left the group to join Edinburgh this month, there is at least one opening in the squad.

Watch: Fiji created history in Hong Kong this year

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Fiji 7s eyeing up next two future stars