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Fiji could fly Bristol's Semi Radradra direct to Olympic Games

By Chris Jones
(Photo by Ashley Western/MB Media/Getty Images)

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Fiji rugby chief John O’Connor has revealed they are prepared to fly Bristol centre Semi Radradra direct to Japan to ensure he can help defend the island nation’s Olympic Gold sevens medal in Tokyo.

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Negotiations, as RugbyPass revealed last week, are ongoing with Bristol and two other European rugby clubs in a bid to get players released with Castres’ Vilimoni Botitu and Pau’s Aminiasi Tuimaba also targeted for inclusion in the final squad for the Games. Fiji’s seven squad is currently in quarantine in Brisbane before taking part in a tournament in Townsville. The plan is then to fly directly to Japan from Australia for the Games.

Radradra is currently attempting to help Bristol win the Gallagher Premiership title with the play-off final being staged at Twickenham on June 26.

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O’Connor, Chief executive officer at Fiji Rugby Union, told the Fiji Times: “We are considering the option of whether we fly him (Radradra) to Australia or direct to Japan. He will be in camp with the rest of the boys chosen before the final selection of the Fiji men’s 7s team for the Olympics.

“We are considering all the best available options presently because the idea is to ‘bring back the gold from Tokyo’ so in order to achieve that mission, only the best players will don the white jersey with the coconut tree emblem. Nothing is finalised at the moment and we are keeping our fingers crossed.

“We are considering the likelihood of some overseas-based players joining the team in Australia. We are still having discussions on that at the moment.The likelihood of Aminiasi Tuimaba and Vilimoni Botitu joining camp is in the air however details are not finalised at the moment.

“We are currently having discussions with their respective clubs on their release.

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“The head coach will make the final decision regarding the duo’s final inclusion in the team if they do make an appearance pertaining to their match fitness in the 7s code.”

Fiji will face Australia and New Zealand plus one other team in a three-day PacificAus Sport Oceania 7s tournament at Townsville Stadium scheduled from June 25-27.

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