Naduva is back in the fold while Wilson, Delaiwau and Bese to make debut for Fijiana 7s
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s Head Coach Ben Gollings have included speedster Alasio Naduva in his 13-member traveling squad to Dubai and Cape Town tournaments.
After playing in a few local competitions, Naduva forced his way into the extended squad. He is expected to bring in experience and provide speed on the wing.
Gollings said it is always good to have experienced players back in the fold and Naduva has proven himself during training sessions hence he has secured himself a spot in the team.
He said “Naduva brings in pace and he has been doing well in training. He is there to provide backup in those positions with pace,” said Gollings.
Gollings has retained his core players who have been competing at the top level since last year.
In forwards, Paula Nayacakalou has made the cut once again while Josevani Soro has missed selections for the next two tournaments.
Iowane Teba has been rested as he is still recovering from an injury. Iowane Raturaciri has been included in the backs and is expected to add more fire power and assist players such as captain Wasiea Nacuqu and Filipo Bukayaro.
Gollings added “Teba sustained an injury in Hong Kong and he is still not right and rather than risking and pushing him now it’s better to create longevity in the season and have him fully fit.”
He said the team is focused on finishing on a high note in Dubai and Cape Town going into the next round of the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2023.
“Going into these two tournaments, we want to build on the performance from the Hong Kong 7s and we would like to push for that number one slot before end of the year.
I think it’s important we keep pushing for finals and win finals and build on our performances” said Gollings.
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s Squad:
- Joseva Talacolo
- Josua Vakurinabili
- Jeremaia Matana
- Tira Welagi
- Paula Nayacakalou
- Sevuloni Mocenacagi
- Pilipo Bukayaro
- Waisea Nacuqu
- Filipe Sauturaga
- Vuiviawa Naduvalo
- Alasio Naduva
- Manueli Maisamoa
- Iowane Raturaciri
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s captain Rusila Nagasau has missed out on the selection for the Dubai and Cape Town tournaments.
Head Coach Saiasi Fuli said Nagasau has been rested for the next two tournaments which have given an opportunity to other players to show their talent on the world stage.
Fijiana 15’s players Talei Wilson, Ilisapeci Delaiwau and Younis Bese are expected to make their debut in the sevens code next weekend.
Fuli said “We have to select based on the recent form and this is a very well-balanced squad in terms of how they have progressed post-Sevens World Cup.
He added the team consists of a mixture of young and experienced players who have retained their sport after the Rugby World Cup.
Fuli has been impressed with the performance of Wilson at the training and believes she has what it takes to be an excellent 7s player.
“She decided to pursue 7s and for her, there is an opportunity to play at the Olympic Games. She has trained for 4 weeks without any break straight from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Rejieli Daveua will captain the side.
The Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s is pooled with Ireland, Spain and Japan. They take on Japan in their first match at 6.22pm Friday week.
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s Squad:
- Vani Buleki
- Ivamere Nabura
- Verenaisi Bari
- Rejieli Daveua
- Talei Wilson
- Sesenieli Donu
- Lavena Cavuru
- Viniana Riwai
- Reapi Uluinasau
- Ana Maria Naimasi
- Aloesi Nakoci
- Ilisapeci Delaiwau
- Younis Bese