A dream week for Gaunimeke
28 January, 2011
|Peni Gaunimeke - Fiji's next sevens sensation? |
Red Rock playmaker Peni Gaunimeke has capped off a dream week by being named today in the Digicel Fiji 7s team to defend the Wellington 7s title next week.
Gaunimeke burst, from relative obscurity, into the sevens spotlight last weekend when he led Red Rock to the Fiji International Uprising 7s title.
Digicel Fiji 7s team coach Iliesa Tanivula believes Gaunimeke has all the attributes to become Fiji’s next sevens sensation.
“I’m thrilled to be able to introduce a player of the talent of Peni Gaunimeke onto the world stage and I’m very excited about what he has to offer the team,” Tanivula said.
“He seems a player of exceptional quality with an aura of the unexpected about him and he may be small but, as we all know, size is no detriment to skill, strength and heart.”
Gaunimeke is one of five new caps named in the 12 man team to the second leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series which features tournaments in Wellington and Las Vegas.
The other new caps named are Nemani Nagusa, Semesa Gonevou, Kelemedi Bola and Apisai Navuoro.
Forcing their way back into the side are Wardens players Apisai Naiyabo and Ilai Tinani.
“It would be unreasonable to ignore the form these two players are in at the moment and I am hopeful they can transfer that form into the IRB Sevens Series,” Tanivula said.
Nadroga’s Joeli Lutumailagi is the only other player to be recalled who did not travel to Dubai and George for the first leg of the series.
“Joeli’s been training well and gives the team penetration in the midfield area and speed out wide.”
Also named are four non-travelling reserves who are Timoci Vakadranu, Nikola Matawalu, Waqabaca Kotobalavu and Gaunimeke’s Red Rock team mate Lorima Vatalesau.
The team will be captained by Emosi Vucago and he will be assisted by co-captain Seremaia Burotu.
The full team is as follows: 1. Seremaia Burotu, 2. Apisai Naiyabo, 3. Watisoni Votu, 4. Nemani Nagusa, 5. Semesa Gonevou, 6. Kelemedi Bola 7. Mitieli Nacagilevu, 8. Emosi Vucago, 9. Ilai Tinani, 10. Peni Gaunimeke, 11. Apisai Navuoro, 12. Joeli Lutumailagi. Non-travelling Reserves: Timoci Vakadranu, Nikola Matawalu, Waqabaca Kotobalavu, Lorima Vatalesau.
The above 16 players in addition to the following four players - Eru Savai, Saimoni Nuku, Nasoni Roko and Leone Nakarawa - complete the list of the 20 contracted Digicel Fiji 7s players.