Jerry Tuwai and Waisea Nacuqu could defy injury worries and force their way back into the Fijian 7s squad for the final legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series in London and Paris.
Nacuqu was initially ruled out of the season with a broken collarbone suffered at the Las Vegas Sevens but head coach Gareth Baber has confirmed the player is taking part in training with the squad also joined by Kalione Nasoko. Tuwai injured his hamstring in the Singapore leg of the Series which saw Fiji move to within three points of leaders USA.
Baber said “They are back in training with us. Obviously they are into early days of their rehabilitation in terms of their fitness level and their progress. It’s important that we don’t rush players back. They need to work hard and earn that jersey again.
“They are recovering and getting there slowly, Jerry is with us while LivaiLivai Ikanikoda is in Vanuatu at the moment to get his French visa. It’s important Jerry carries on rehab with the medical team and we will put them back into training as soon as we can.”
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Also taking part in the camp ahead of the final push for the title are Alasio Naduva, Aminiasi Tuimaba, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Terio Tamani and Mesulame Kunavula.
Baber knows the final two legs will be ultra-competitive with the top four finishers in the table earning automatic qualification for next year’s Olympic Games Sevens in Japan. He said “The players are aware of what they want to achieve over the next five to six weeks. When you look at that first tournament its critical we get to the levels of performance we showed in Hong Kong and at times in Singapore.
“If you look at that tournament in Singapore and the basic matches, we were the 13th most experienced team in the whole competition. When you lose Jerry Tuwai, you lose 40 odd caps that we have got. One of the big things we pride ourselves on is the huge role we’ve played in developing these players as quick as possible.
“We stole some points off USA coming out of Hong Kong and Singapore and now we need to capitalize on that going into the last two tournaments. We also know that every other team is playing for something being in the top four sport or obviously just a finish at winning the World Series itself.”
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