Fiji, the reigning Olympic sevens champions, have been rocked by off-the-field problems in the build up to the Hamilton and Sydney legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series with playmaker Vatemo Ravouvou dropped for drinking alcohol.
The Fiji Rugby Union has confirmed to the Fiji Sun that Ravouvou has been left out of the Hamilton and Sydney tournaments with chief executive officer John O’Connor revealing he was dropped from the squad for disciplinary reasons. “This was due to indiscipline committed during the last leg of the series in Cape Town, which involved the consumption of alcohol,” he said.
O’Connor also clarified that the FRU had stood down Amenoni Nasilasila and will await the court ruling on his case of alleged rape before deciding on his future in the national 7s set-up. Ravouvou and Nasilasila are key members of head coach Gareth Baber’s team who lost out on the title last season in a last gasp finish which saw South Africa pick up the trophy.
As a result of the upheaval, Baber is set to to put his faith in inexperienced playmakers Napolioni Ratu and Terio Tamani who were likely to join Waisea Nacuqu in making the final squad.
“Obviously, we have Teri Tamani, who has been playing in local tournaments and he has been patient and could be highly likely to take that position,” said Baber. “Also, Napolioni Ratu who understands what it is to be at this level and the quality of performance he needs to deliver for that position.
“So, there is a lot of competition among the players for that position. We’ve got the likes of Josua Vakurunabuli coming back into the mix for Hamilton, who gives you different assets in the field and my job is to combine players like this with the best men that are possible, we got it right in South Africa but didn’t got it right in Dubai.”
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