Fiji Rugby is is thrilled to announce a strong Fiji Airways Fijian 7s 13-men squad set to compete in the forthcoming legs of the highly anticipated HSBC World Sevens Series: the Vancouver 7s and LA 7s.
Among the notable inclusions are two debutants, Solomoni Rauqe and Viliame Naikausa, whose stellar performances at the Coral Coast 7s earlier this year captured the attention of national selectors.
Additionally, the return of Olympic gold medalist Napolioni Bolaca after a 10-month break post-surgery adds further depth and experience to the team lineup.
Head Coach Ben Gollings said, “It’s exciting; Viliame showcased himself really well, and we spotted him at the Pacific Games when he was playing league. He’s a great addition, very fit, robust, and dynamic, and we are excited to see how he develops within the squad.”
“Solo was a real strong candidate in the Coral Coast 7s, training with us, and we really want to see how he adds a different dimension to us – along with Ropate Rere and Poni, he brings a lethal weapon out wide, so we are excited to see how he develops,” added Gollings.
The return of the experienced Bolaca is expected to provide a significant boost to the team’s performance.
Gollings commended Bolaca’s dedication through his rehab.
“Credit to Naps, it’s been a tough period for him – he’s been focused and disciplined, and we saw it in the weekend; he is starting to get his game legs, and that’s a good sign for us.”
In preparation for the back-to-back series, the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s squad will depart one week in advance for the Vancouver 7s, where they will undergo intensive training.
The Vancouver 7s tournament is scheduled to take place from February 23 to 25. Fiji is pooled with Argentina, Canada, and Spain in Pool A.