Matawalu on the wing
09 December, 2011
|Nikola Matawalu. |
Fresh from stepping off the plane in Port Elizabeth, Digicel Fiji 7s replacement player Nikola Matawalu has slotted straight into the starting line-up by coach, Alivereti Dere. The talented utility player, who combines raw talent with great speed, will start off on the wing in Fiji’s opening match against Portugal at the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s in Port Elizabeth.
“Matawalu is such a talented player that in many teams he could be the starting player in any position in the backline,” Dere said.
“He’s a player who possesses the magical X-factor with the uncanny ability to do something special in a game, that extra bit of pace and vision, which can leave opponents grasping thin air.”
Matawalu replaces Joeli Lutumailagi on the wing with the Nadroga speedster now shifting to centre and Osea Kolinisau also moving in one to flyhalf.
Meanwhile Senivalati Vunibola, who at 39 years has put a nostalgic smile on the face of golden oldies around the world, continues his fairytale debut in the HSBC Sevens World Series by being named in the forwards alongside James Brown and skipper Watisoni Votu.
Digicel Fiji’s starting line-up at the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s is:
James Brown, Watisoni Votu (C), Senivalati Vunibola, Emosi Vucago (VC), Osea Kolinisau, Joeli Lutumailagi, Nikola Matawalu
Reserves - Pio Tuwai, Ameniasi Nava, Mitieli Nacagilevu, Semi Radradra, Josaia Lotawa
Fiji is the top seed in Pool D alongside Wales, Portugal and Zimbabwe and play’s Portugal in the tournament opener at 10:37 PM on Friday (Fiji time). View full squad details of all teams.