Fiji Under 20's step up intensity
04 May, 2012
|Fiji Under 20 players experiencing a mud run. |
Only two players remain from last year’s Fiji Under 20 squad who went on to compete in the Junior World Championships (JWC) in Italy. Alivereti Mocelutu Junior, son and namesake of the former Flying Fijian number 8, and Matayavusa Lea have both been in the team to South Africa.
Mocelutu who plays at first five eight was in fact a non-travelling reserve last year while Lea played on the wing. Former Flying Fijians prop and now JWC team manager Paula Biu is hoping the experience both players have had in preparing, training and - in the case of Lea - actually playing in such a major tournament will help the other players.
“It’s always good to have players in the squad who’ve been there and experienced the occasion and are able to share those experiences with the other players and helps all the players in regards to what they can expect both on and of the field at the tournament,” Biu said.
With just under one month to go to the JWC the coaching team have stepped up the intensity at training in an effort to improve fitness, strength and stamina levels ahead of the June tournament; and while Biu believes there is always room for improvement he’s quite pleased with how players are responding.
“This was our first training session as the official squad, and from what I have seen so far, I believe all players have been working hard during their off season on their respective training programmes,” he said.
The team are currently in camp at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks and with morale high Biu revealed the local players have been helping the two overseas players – Michael Little and Hamish Barton - settle into their new surroundings.
“The local boys have been very helpful in getting Little and Barton to adjust to the nuances of life in Fiji and the two players have adjusted well to the language, weather and food,” Biu said.
“Last night we had rourou (taro leaf) and lamb neck for dinner and they really enjoyed it.”
Three more overseas players are expected to join the team later this week namely Alex Hodgman from Australia, Sevanaia Galala who plays in France, and Atunaisa Masirewa from New Zealand.
The full 28 member team is:
Alex Hodgman, Petero Tivitivi, Ratulame Leawanavanua, Semi Keli, Aminasi Laveta, Etuati Qadrodro, Jale Sassen, Temo Raibevu, Esikia Macu, Joketani Raikabula, Ledua Ratumuri, Sakeasi Kautoga, Meli Baivatu, Aca Simolo, Sitiveni Nawaqa, Seru Cavuilati, Sakiusa Gavidi, Michael Little, Matayavusa Lea, Samu Kerevi, Sevanaia Galala, Josua Kerevi, Atunaisa Masirewa, Tikilaci Vuibau, Hamish Barton, Timoci Seruwalu, Avenisi Vasuinubu, Elia Ratucove