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Stars back

Rashneel Kumar
Sunday, March 09, 2014

VODAFONE Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan has recalled former national 7s reps Setefano Cakau and Joeli Lutumailagi for the Asian leg of the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.

The duo, who were playing rugby in Sri Lanka, arrived in the country this week and featured for the CK Ezybuy's Tabadamu side in the 38th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament at the ANZ Stadium in Laucala Bay.

Alongside Cakau and Lutumailagi, the new find of the tournament, Marist playmaker Jerry Tuwai has also pushed his way into the 18-member squad for the Japan and Hong Kong 7s, which will be played later this month.

Ryan retained all the players who featured in the last leg of series except departing Lepani Botia, who is joining a French club and Henry Seniloli.

Wardens' playmaker Waisea Nacuqu and halfback Setefano Rasekaia and Tokatoka Resort Westfield Barbarians Vatemo Ravouvou are the other notable inclusions in the squad.

"Its (Marist 7s) given me a bit more clarity but still got a few question marks on whose going to fill in the final place in the squad for the next leg," Ryan said.

"There's lot of ex-national players out there and some of them have done very well."

Ryan said there were some injuries in the squad that the management would be closely monitoring to ensure the fittest players were selected for the upcoming tournaments.

The 2014 Marist 7s Player of the Tournament Samisoni Viriviri did not feature for Police in the final yesterday after hurting his arm.

Fiji 7s team manager Ropate Kauvesi said it was "a manageable injury".

"If you take our forwards, Samu Saqiwa is injured and he is in real doubt as well as Pio (Tuwai) and Botia is obviously unavailable. So that's three players in the forwards who may not be available and straightaway that leaves a big hole in the forwards," Ryan said.

"We got to find some good replacements and there are some players out there.

"In backline the wing slots, we got players like Donasio (Ratubuli) and Samisoni (Viriviri), who are playing very well at the moment but you got players of the quality of Joeli Lutumailagi that showed up well."

Meanwhile Ryan has also named 24 players in the extended squad who will be contesting for a place in the final leg of the series.

The players in the Japan and Hong Kong squad are to attend the team camp at Uprising Resort from this Wednesday.

Japan and Hong Kong 7s squad — Apisai Domolailai (Hideaway Hurricanes), Benito Masilevu (Lomaiviti Barbarians), Donasio Ratubuli (Yamacia), Emosi Mulevoro (Army), Jasa Veremalua (Hideaway Hurricanes), Jerry Tuwai (Marist), Joeli Lutumailagi (CK Ezybuy's Tabadamu), Jona Tuitoga (Covenant Brothers), Leo Naikasau (Wardens), Osea Kolinisau (Covenant Brothers), Pio Tuwai (Tokatoka Westfield Barbarians), Samisoni Viriviri (Police), Samuela Saqiwa (Tokatoka Westfield Barbarians), Semi Kunatani (Yamacia), Setefano Cakau (CK Ezybuy's Tabadamu), Setefano Rasekaia (Wardens), Vatemo Ravouvou (Tokatoka Westfield Barbarians), Waisea Nacuqu (Wardens)

Extended squad — Anare Saurara (Raiwaqa), Apimeleki Mocekula (Yamacia), Apisalome Waqatabu (Police), Asaeli Boko (Wardens), David Batiratu (CK Ezybuy's Tabadamu), Eminoni Nasilasila (Hideaway Hurricanes), Eroni Sau (Red Rock), Iosefo Rasese (Waimanu), John Stewart (Army), Jone Vota (CK Ezybuy's Tabadamu), Ledua Mau (Covenant Brothers), Levani Tani (Ratu Filise), Luke Navuwai (Yamacia), Malakai Nalawa (Tokatoka Westfield Barbarians), Mosese Mawalu (Yamacia), Navitalai Ratulevu (Marist), Ropate Labalaba (Yamacia), Sitiveni Raseka (Wardens), Sitiveni Waqa (CK Ezybuy's Tabadamu), Taione Ravudama (CK Ezybuy's Tabadamu), Ulaiasi Lovu (Ratu Filise), Viliame Mata (Hideaway Hurricanes), Waisale Kuruisaravi (Yamacia), Waqa Robanakadavu (Red Rock)


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