Fiji 7s team kept French ambassador awake

French ambassador to Fiji Sujiro Seam with members of the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s mens team from left, Josua Vakurinabili, Batinisavu Uluiyata, Paula Dranisinukula and Jasa Veremalua during their visit at the ambassador's residence in Suva on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team’s success in the World Rugby Sevens Series has won the hearts of many, including France ambassador to Fiji, Sujiro Seam.

He hosted some of the national reps and team manager Jone Niurua, and guests for an afternoon tea at his residence in Suva yesterday.

“Throughout the season, you displayed an incredible performance and you gave us a tremendous show,” Seam said.

“I woke up every night to watch every game as you played early in the morning. It was a pleasure to wake up and watch this wonderful Fijian rugby displayed on the screen.”

Members of the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team were also present and along with guests such as former president, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Fiji rugby legend Pio Bosco Tikoisuva.

“It’s a little bit intimidating to meet you in real life because you all looked big compared to seeing you on the screens. Whenever Fiji rugby wins, it’s a little bit of success for France as well because in the French championship we have 300 rugby players from Fiji including 25 playing in the French Top 14.”

He wished the players good luck in the Sevens Rugby World Cup next month in San Francisco.

“Good luck to those who will be playing 15s against France because France will host the Fijian 15s team in November.

“It has been quite some time since Fiji played against France. For you it will be like playing at home. There a lot of Fijians who live and play in France, so it will be a home game.”

The Gareth Baber-coached team is expected to march into camp next Monday to prepare for the RWC 7s which will be held on July 20-22.