Former players back

Nemani Raturuma of Marist runs away from the Muaniwavu Qauia team at the 42nd Fiji Bitter Marist 7s at the ANZ Stadium yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Nemani Raturuma of Marist runs away from the Muaniwavu Qauia team at the 42nd Fiji Bitter Marist 7s at the ANZ Stadium yesterday. Picture: RAMA

SOME former national 7s reps were on show on day one of the 2018 Fiji Bitter Marist 7s the ANZ Stadium in Suva yesterday.

Commenting on their participation, co-ordinator of the tournament Lawrence Tikaram said even though former players might be out of national duties, they were not out of the game.

“This is a tournament that allows the new 7s generation to rub shoulders with former stars,” Tikaram said.

“And they (young players) are looking up to top teams such as Police, Tabadamu, the two Army teams to name a few for inspiration.”

Tikaram said the number of former players in the Fiji team who had been groomed from past tournaments spoke volumes of the talents that had participated in their tournament.

“Who knows, maybe national coach Gareth Baber might consider some of these former players for future sevens assignments.

“This is the pinnacle of 7s rugby in Fiji and to have these players (former) in the tournament show their commitment in the sport,” he said.

Some of the former players and current national training squad members playing in the tournament include Manueli Laqai, Sitiveni Waqa, Livai Ikanikoda, Kitione Taliga, Mitieli Nacagilevu, who all played for Police.

In the Wardens team Pio Tuwai is leading the charge alongside winner of the Canada 7s tournament Batinisavu Uluiyata and Joji Raqamate.

For Tabadamu, speedster Nasoni Roko guided the young team with Emosi Vucago, Jone Vota , Terry Tamani and Leo Naikasau Jr, who is playing for his village team Nakavika in Namosi.

Masivesi Dakuwaqa played for Saunaka while veterans Isake Katonibau and Apiasai Domolailai showed their form for the Army Green of Delainabua while former Fiji skipper Sireli Bobo guided his Provider team.

Another former player Sireli Naqalevuki coached his Flagstaff side and Alifereti Dere was looking after the Nawaka team.

Tikaram said these players played a vital role in moulding future representatives as Fiji bid for a HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Fiji.

“‘They are not only playing, but some of them are now coaching some of the participating teams,” he said.

The tournament ends today.