Dere appointed Digicel Fiji 7s head coach
07 November, 2011
|Newly appointed Digicel Fiji 7s head coach Alifereti Dere (left) and FRU Chairman Mosese Tikoitoga. |
Former national sevens captain Alifereti Dere has today been appointed coach of the Digicel Fiji 7s team. The announcement was made this morning by the chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU), Mosese Tikoitoga at an early morning media conference at Rugby House.
Tikoitoga explained the decision was not an easy one after interviewing the four shortlisted candidates last week – Dere, Etuate Waqa, Sailosi Naiteqe and Acura Niuqila – but revealed it was Dere’s coaching philosophy that saw him get the nod.
“Alifereti Dere’s coaching philosophy is based on improved fitness and more running Fijian rugby which is something that the Board thinks we should bring back,” Tikoitoga said.
“He’s basing his coaching philosophy on continuous attack and continuously throwing the ball around the pitch which is something we want to see back in our sevens team.”
But as a departure from normal convention the Board has also appointed an assistant coach for Dere in FRU development officer, Etuate Waqa, who, during his interview, stressed the importance of the team building on a powerful and intimidating defense in order to achieve its purpose.
“He (Waqa) wants us to defend as aggressively as we can to intimidate the opposing team, and the confidence gained from good defense will provide the opportunity for the attack.”
Tikoitoga revealed the Board felt that success would be best achieved by marrying together the two coaching styles.
“After listening to the two presentations during the interviews the Board finds it suitable to bring the two coaching philosophies together to give us a winning combination,” Tikoitoga added.
As Fiji Rugby looks to bring back sevens success, to a country starved of sevens glory in recent seasons, the FRU chairman is asking fans and the general public to be patient as Dere and Waqa get to work.
“I ask the rugby public to be patient, we don’t expect miracles this early, we are only three weeks away to the first game but the Fiji Rugby Union Board has the complete confidence on the two seven-a-side coaches that we’ve indentified to bring back seven-a-side glory.”
The first part of the HSBC Sevens World Series now consists of three tournaments beginning with the Gold Coast (Australia) on 25-26 November, Dubai (UAE) on 2-3 December and the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s (South Africa) on 9-10 December.
Meanwhile a Digicel Fiji sevens squad has already been identified by Dere and Waqa to march into camp beginning this Wednesday. The following 21 players are to meet at Rugby House 9:00 AM on Wednesday, 9 November and are to bring with them their passports and bank account details. The players are:
James Brown (Suva), Levani Botia (Suva), Setefano Cakau (Suva), Semi Radradra (Vatukoula), Livai Ikanikoda (Suva), Pio Tuwai (Ba), Osea Kolinisau (Suva), Metuisela Talebula (Lautoka), Jone Tiko (Lautoka), Erueli Savai (Lautoka), Apenisa Natabua (Naitasiri), Iliesa Nadau (Lautoka), Timoci Sinate (Naitasiri), Seniyaro Mataiviwa (Ra), Savenaca Ravatu (Vatukoula), Temesia Roko (Naitasiri), Apisai Domolailai (Nadroga), Manasa Cole (Cakaudrove), Simeli Taqea (Cakaudrove), Matavusa Lea (USP) and Watisoni Votu (Lautoka).
Also earmarked for sevens selection are the following Sukuna Bowl players who will be required to be at Rugby House at 9:00 AM on Monday, 14 November to meet with the Digicel Fiji 7s head coach. These players are:
Joeli Lutumailagi, Emosi Vucago, Leone Nakarawa, Nikola Matawalu, Dale Tonawai, Jimilai Naikadawa, Josaia Lotawa, Senitiki Nacoliwa, Waisele Dau, Apisalome Waqatabu, Sitiveni Waqa, Taniela Rawaqa, Sikeli Vuruna, Sevuloni Lutu and Aminiasi Nava.