Jerry Tuwai's heartfelt message to Fiji after Birmingham medal miss
Double Olympic gold medal winner Jerry Tuwai insists he has no intention of retiring and has set his sights on helping the Fiji sevens side win the Rugby World Cup 7s in South Africa next month.
Tuwai, the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in 2019, could not work his magic to give Fiji a first Commonwealth Games gold medal in Birmingham and they had to settle for silver after being comprehensively beaten 31-7 by South Africa in the final.
Despite falling short in his bid for another gold medal having enjoyed Olympic triumph in Rio and Japan, 33-year-old Tuwai remains committed to the Fijian sevens programme under new coach Ben Gollings.
Tuwai, who has been given a coaching and mentoring role within the squad, told the Fiji Times: “I’ll keep on playing. Maybe another year, or two years or three years, I don’t know till when. I’ll play until I can’t run and I’ll let God decide when I should stop.”
“Hats off to the boys. We had some injuries in the tournament and the other players in the squad really stood up. We will now get back to the board and prepare for the Rugby World Cup which is another important tournament for us.”
While the World Cup Sevens, being staged in Cape Town on September 9-11, is now the main target for Tuwai, he has joined the rest of the squad to prepare for the next leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Los Angeles 7s on August 27-28.
With Fiji having successfully defended their Olympic gold medal in Japan there was significant pressure on Gollings, who took over from Gareth Baber as head coach, heading into the Commonwealth Games. Now, he must try to win the World Cup title against a Springboks sevens team playing on home soil.
New Zealand have won the last two Rugby World Cup sevens titles with Fiji’s last success coming in 2005 when the event was staged in Hong Kong.
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