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Wainiqolo out

Rashneel Kumar
Friday, March 01, 2013

CONFUSION among players has prompted the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) to relieve Timoci Wainiqolo of his duties as the Digicel Fiji Sevens assistant coach.

FRU coaching director Franck Boivert confirmed there was no need for an assistant coach as head coach Alifereti Dere was free to travel in the remaining HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments.

FRU has also relieved trainer Max Hughes and appointed Aisea Bici for the remaining International Rugby Board (IRB) 7s tournaments in the 2012/13 season.

Boivert said Wainiqolo would remain as one of the Fiji 7s selectors.

"We reviewed the report from the last leg in Wellington and Las Vegas and found out that the players were confused with the instructions from the two coaches. We found out it would be better for one person to guide the team rather than two individuals," Boivert said.

"And also Dere is comfortable working alone and since he can travel to the remaining legs, we no longer need anyone to assist him."

Wainiqolo joined the national 7s side as the assistant coach following the departure of Etuate Waqa who joined Tonga Rugby Union as its new 7s coaching director last year.

The Wardens and Namosi mentor's appointment raised eyebrows and many rugby pundits questioned his involvement with the Fiji team.

But Wainiqolo shut his critics up after guiding the new-look national side to victory at the Gold Coast 7s tournament in Australia late last year.

He was tasked to guide the team to the third leg of the IRB 7s series where the national side hit rock bottom after being relegated to the bowl competition for the first time in Wellington, New Zealand.

Attempts to get comments from Wainiqolo proved futile as numerous calls made to his mobile phone were diverted.

Meanwhile Boivert said they would decide on the coach of the national team to the IRB 7s tournaments in Australia and New Zealand later.

Dere cannot travel to these two countries because of the travel sanctions placed on members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces by the Australian and New Zealand governments.





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