Fiji Airways Men’s 7s Coach, Gareth Baber has named a strong team to the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast in Australia.
Only one overseas based player, Semi Kunatani who had indicated his availability has now been released by his Club and has been included in the Team, while the majority of the Team who have been taking part in the HSBC Series and recently won the Hamilton and Vancouver 7s Tournament have been retained by Coach. Baber has also named Samisoni Viriviri as the 13th player on standby to cover for the rover and wing position.
Coach Baber has indicated that while he has named the Team, there are likely to be changes but only subject to any injuries sustained during the training preparations for the Commonwealth Games.
Fiji will be making a return to the Commonwealth Men’s rugby sevens tournament after a twelve year absence and Coach Baber highlighted that they will go into the tournament with only one aim and that is to win Fiji’s first Rugby 7s Gold Medal.
“Competition for places in the team was intense as the players fought hard to prove their worth for a spot. In order to achieve our goal which is to win the Gold Medal, I have had to select the best players to represent Fiji. We expect competition to be tough at the Commonwealth Games and will ensure that we leave no stones unturned in our preparation to ensure that the boys are physically, mentally and spiritually ready for whatever challenge is thrown at us” the Coach highlighted.”
He highlighted that everyone in the Team including the players understood the huge challenge that is before them and has asked all Fijians to continue to support the Team. “We thank you for your support and your prayers in the past which we greatly value and look forward to continued support and prayers as we venture for glory at the Commonwealth ”.
FRU CEO Mr John O’Connor has challenged the team to mirror and repeat the feat of the 2016 Rio Olympics and be the first team to bring home the Commonwealth Games Men’s 7s Rugby Gold Medal and create history.
“I would like to congratulate all the players that have been selected but I would like to stress that there is a huge expectation from everyone. The expectation from the FRU President, the FRU Board of Directors, the FRU Council and the Fiji Rugby supporters is that the team will create history and win the Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.”
The 2018 Commonwealth Games 7s will be held from the 13th to the 15th of April and the Fiji Airways Men’s 7s team will face off against Wales, Uganda and Sri Lanka.
The selected players are:
Semi Kunatani, Jasa Veremalua, Josua Vakurinabili, Paula Dranisinukula, Kalione Nasoko, Jerry Tuwai, Vatemo Ravouvou, Amenoni Nasilasila, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Mesulame Kunavula, Eroni Sau, Alasio Naduva, Samisoni Viriviri.
The Coach is expected to name his Team to Hong Kong by Thursday next week.