Fiji name Sevens squad that gives glimpse of team they'll send to Olympics
Jerry Tuwai, the World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Decade, will lead Fiji in their only pre-Tokyo Olympic Games tournament when they take part in the PacificAus Sports Oceania Rugby Sevens on 25-27 June in Townsville, Australia.
The tournament also involves Australia and New Zealand and Fiji Rugby Chief Executive John O’Connor paid tribute to the Australian Government and Oceania Rugby for arranging the warm-up tournament that will see his men’s and women’s team spend time in quarantine in Brisbane until June 18.
O’Connor said: “I would also like to thank Ministry of Health and the Fijian Government for their support to both teams as we battle against the second wave of COVID-19. We would like to thank the Australian Government and Fiji Airways in particular for their assistance in the arrangements to fly the players to Australia.
“It’s the first opportunity the teams now have to travel out of Fiji to get to play some international rugby game time. Australia and New Zealand have already competed against each other, while our plans have been to maintain our training program to ensure our players reach their optimal international level.”
Australian High Commissioner John Feakes said “We are delighted to be supporting Fiji’s travel to Australia to compete in this important event which will be critical for Fiji’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.”
The Fiji men’s team will be led by Tuwai alongside Kitione Taliga – both men helped Fiji win Olympic Gold in Rio in 2016 – and includes Kalione Nasoko who is making his return from ACL surgery and he joins a powerful forward pack including Josua Vakurunibili, Meli Derenalagi, Kavekini Tabu and Asaeli Tuivuaka. The pack is completed by Iosefo Masikau, Taniela Sadrugu, Rusiate Nasove and Joseva Talacolo. Barbarians Juita Wainiqolo, Sireli Maqala and Uluinakau’s Kaminieli Rasaku complete the backline.
— Fiji Rugby Union (@fijirugby) June 3, 2021
Baber said: “The new players named in the squad have done exceptionally well here in Fiji and have won a spot in the team because of their behaviour and performance during training sessions. Now the big test for them is to go-up against players they don’t know and face a different style of rugby in both defence and attack, and track themselves progressively.
“Through-out the trainings we have had, we introduced periods of competition where we played against each other internally, in almost like an Olympic format. It is a hard prospect, normally we would have had competition such as World Rugby Sevens Series to play in, where we can measure each other against the rest of the world.
“We have improvised and have done that internally and I think the biggest thing for us now is just to give the players an opportunity to play against Australia and New Zealand.”
Fijian 7s Squad for Oceania 7s
Fijiana 7s squad for Oceania 7s
Ana Maria Naimasi
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