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Fiji name interim head coach following the exit of Simon Raiwalui

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

The Fiji Rugby Union have appointed assistant Senirusi Seruvakula as interim head coach of the Fiji national team following the post-Rugby World Cup departure of Simon Raiwalui last month.

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Raiwalui led the side to the quarter-finals, their first appearance at that stage of the tournament in 16 years, but he confirmed soon after their defeat to England in Marseille that he wouldn’t be seeking a contract renewal after taking on the job after the early 2023 exit of Vern Cotter.

A statement read: “Fiji Rugby is pleased to announce Senirusi Seruvakula as the acting coach of the Fiji Water Flying Fijians. FRU Administrator Simione Valenitabua said after considering all the options, the Fiji Rugby Football Union trust board has decided to appoint Seruvakula for the top job who will act till January next year.

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“He further added that the Fiji coach’s position will be advertised in the near future and confirmed by January next year. Seruvakula has achieved many milestones since joining Fiji Rugby in 2016.

“His achievements so far are as follows: 2016-2019 champion of World Rugby Pacific Challenge Trophy with Fijian Warriors; 2017-2019 champion of Australia’s National Rugby Championship with Fijian Drua; 2019 – assistant coach Flying Fijians for Test match against the Barbarians; 2022 – champion of Super W with Fijian Drua; 2022 – champion of Oceania womens competition; 2022 – head coach Rugby World Cup with Fijiana 15s; 2023 – assistant coach Fiji at Rugby World Cup.”

Valenitabua said: “We would like to congratulate Seruvakula, who has been evidently knocking at the door for a long time. I and the FRFUT board believe that he deserves the Flying Fijians coaching job after being with the feeder teams for multiple years.”

Seruvakula added: “With new players coming in the Fijian Drua and having some outstanding performance by the players during our local competitions, I will certainly draw up a depth chart and project the path towards the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.”

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Eabn 7 hours ago
Open-minded Schmidt takes hands-on approach to Australia challenge

Who cares - boring is good when it comes to Media - they don’t bug you as much. While the focus is on the resurrection of the Wallabies, don’t forget the grass roots - Any opportunity you have to visit, train or promote Rugby down here in Melbourne / Regional is pretty much imperative given the current situation with the Rebels. I’m talking about us grass roots clubs and more so, clubs in the West of Melbourne who are being absolutely smashed by Rugby League and who have been contributing directly to the game down here long before the Rebels emerged and no doubt will do so well after they may be gone. All I have heard is all about the elite level, not the grass roots level so while the talk is about “ The Wallabies” and “Super Rugby Pacific” get back to the roots of Union and include us in your plans. So Phil Waugh and those leaders within RugbyAustralia, it’s on you to ensure the bottom feeders, so to speak, are included in all the talk and the funding if you want Union to regain ground and more respect within the Union and also the broader sporting fraternity. Given you have been in Melbourne a number off times over the last month, extending the courtesy of having a meet and greet with Victorian grass root clubs eluded you for some reason. Do we count or matter in RA’s and yours bigger picture?? Ean Drummond - Club Founder/President - Wyndham City Rhinos RUFC Inc. Hoppers Crossing, Melbourne.

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