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Second chance

Emoni Narawa
Saturday, April 19, 2014

INJURIES are the number one enemy for any athlete.

It can ruin dreams and sometimes can cause an athlete to miss the highlight of his or her sporting career.

The scenario is true for rookie Vodafone Fiji 7s forward Viliame Mata who was recalled into the Vodafone 7s team for the Scotland and London tournaments of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Mata, Leo Naikasau and Semi Kunatani are the trio that Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan recalled to the 12-member squad for the final leg.

Mata missed the lifetime opportunity of playing at the famous So Kon Po Stadium last month because of a knee injury sustained after making his IRB sevens debut at the Wellington tournament.

Like many other athletes, Mata was disheartened that the injury shattered one of his childhood dreams.

"I came back from Wellington and was a bit disheartened because of an injury," he said.

"I was hoping to be included into the Hong Kong and Tokyo squad but that was shattered because of the injury."

He said his family were his main motivation after being ruled out from the team.

"I'm thankful to my family who supported me and encouraged me to keep on training despite missing out because of the injury.

"Also coach (Ben Ryan) advised me to rest my injury. I did exactly what I was told and that is why I am back in the team."

The 22-year-old said competition for a place in the team was strong.

"Its hard getting into the team, I am thankful to God for this opportunity and also the coach for giving me this chance to represent Fiji once again.

"I am looking forward to giving my best shot and lifting my game from where I left off at the Wellington tournament."

Fiji is drawn in Pool C at the Scotland tournament in Glasgow along with Wales, Argentina and Kenya.

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