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FRU names Men’s and Women’s 7s squad for Dubai

Fiji Rugby Union has named a young and exciting Men’s and Women’s 7s squad for the World Rugby Sevens Series opening round which is set to take place with a new format in Dubai on the 27th and 28th of this month and on the 4th and 5th of December.

Head Coach Saiasi Fuli has been mentoring both teams and had managed to narrow down the squad after the end of the 4th leg of the Super 7s Series at ANZ Stadium today.

Fuli has selected 15 players, out of which 13 will travel to Dubai after the medical team conducts the regular check-up on Monday.

Olympic gold medalists Josua Vakurinabili and Waisea Nacuqu are the only experienced players selected together with Kavekini Tabu and Terio Tamani who have been to the World Rugby Sevens Series previously.

The team also consists of four players from Raiwasa Taveuni {Jeremaia Matana, Daniele Yaya, Iowane Teba and Iowane Raturaciri}, two each from LAR Barbarians {Kaminieli Rasaku and Manueli Maisamoa} and Police Blue {Joseva Talacolo, Filipe Sauturaga} plus one each from Wardens {Tevita Dagunu}, Stallions {Panapasa Qeruqeru} and Army {Elia Canakaivata}.

Dual Olympic gold medalist Jerry Tuwai will miss the tour to Dubai as he prepares for his traditional wedding which is set to take place next month.

Fuli said “We had a high turnover in the Fijian 7s team after the Olympic Games whereby the players and coaches have moved on but we have managed to gather a team of 26 players and camped together for the last three weeks.

It been tough making the selection after seeing how the players have been performing for their clubs. I thought the players would struggle after we were hit by the second wave of COVID-19 and with restriction on no sports but the intensity was quite high during the past two days.”

He added “It’s good that we have retained players like Josua Vakurinabili and Waisea Nacuqu.

My task is to develop and bring in new players and I’m confident that the new players selected are not new to the sport instead they are familiar with the sevens environment.”

Fuli said Fiji is the number one team in the world and the players selected have to do their part by performing well and making a powerful start in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

“Despite the high turnover of coaches and players, it’s a new cycle and exciting time and we need to continue and carry the flag keeping in mind that the Fijian 7s is still the number one team in the world,” said Fuli.

The Fiji Airways Fijians 7s squad is as follows:

  1. Josua Vakurinabili
  2. Joseva Talacolo
  3. Jeremaia Matana
  4. Kavekini Tabu
  5. Elia Canakaivata
  6. Tevita Dagunu
  7. Daniele Yaya
  8. Terio Tamani
  9. Waisea Nacuqu
  10. Kaminieli Rasaku
  11. Iowane Teba
  12. Filipe Sauturaga
  13. Manueli Maisamoa
  14. Panapasa Qeruqeru
  15. Iowane Raturaciri

Meanwhile, the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s side is laced with experience having the majority of the players who were part of the Bronze medal win at the Olympic Games in Japan in August.

Fuli has retained 11 players from the team which went to the Olympic Games while Mereani Rogosau and Vani Buleki are the only new faces in the squad.

Fuli said “The good thing is that the tournament allows the management to have a fair idea of who all will go and represent the team in Dubai and the challenging part is that we have lost four key players as they have moved overseas securing contracts.

The fact is that we have a good depth and that allows us to fill in the vacuum and with new players joining the squad we have the capability of exposing the opponents during the tournament.”

“We have managed to select a balanced squad with the majority of the players who were part of the Fijiana 7s team during the Olympic Games and we are confident that this squad can go across and compete well and challenge the top teams” said Fuli.
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s squad is as follows:

  1. Rusila Nagasau
  2. Vasiti Solikoviti
  3. Vani Buleki
  4. Sesenieli Donu
  5. Raijieli Daveua
  6. Reapi Ulunasau
  7. Lavena Cavuru
  8. Ana Maria Naimasi
  9. Aloesi Nakoci
  10. Mereani Rogosau
  11. Laisani Likuceva
  12. Ana Maria Roqica
  13. Mereula Toroki
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