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Rugby scout

Zanzeer Singh
Saturday, August 09, 2014

QUEENSLAND Rugby Union general manager of operations Sam Cordingley is here to scout for talents during the Skipper Cup semi-final between Nadroga and Suva at Lawaqa Park this afternoon.

Cordingley, who arrived in the country on Thursday, revealed the Queensland Reds are interested in Fijian players after the legacy left behind by Ilivasi Tabua, Jacob Rauluni and Radike Samo.

The Reds have outside centre Samuela Kerevi and winger Chris Kuridrani in their extended squad but are looking for more to add thrust to their backline with their attacking flair after a dismal performance finishing 13th in the Super Rugby this season.

The Nadroga versus Suva clash at 3pm has attracted big attention which victorious New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika also expected to attend.

Cordingley, who earned 20 Test caps for the Wallabies said the trip was not much of a holiday.

"I will be going to the Nadroga versus Suva match to have a look around and see what the local talents have to offer," the 38-year-old said.

"Queensland rugby has a long relationship with Fijian players. There have been terrific players like Ilivasi, Radike and Jacob.

"There is a strong Fijian community in Brisbane in particular. The style of rugby they play is fantastic which is running rugby and which Queensland pride themselves on.

"The big thing is the attacking flair the Fijian players have. We did not meet the standard that we set for this season but certainly everything is looking positive going forward."

The Reds won the Super Rugby title in 2011. However this year, the side recorded only five wins from 16 matches.

Cordingley said Kerevi and Kuridrani were part of their future plans.

He said they wanted to forge a strong relationship with teams and players here.

Cordingley said the 7s players could make a quick transition to Super Rugby.

"This year has been disappointing and we are looking at finding solutions to get up to the top," he said.

"Samu and Chris are young and are part of the long-term plan. Samu had some terrific performances in the season and he is a popular among the group. We hope to see him playing many more games for Queensland going forward.

"Lots of players here have interest in New Zealand. So this is the first for the Reds in terms of talent identification. We are hoping to build some relationships with the locals.

"Especially with the players in the back three in particular. Fiji has a rich history in 7s rugby. We have seen capable players in the backs that can make an easy transition to Super Rugby."

Suva: Vesi Rarawa, Viliame Veikoso (c), Manasa Saulo, Viliame Sigamasi, Joseva Tanikorolevu, Mosese Saunivanua, Jolame Bera, Sikeli Nasilasila, Nemani Vecenayawa, Sireli Naoba, Maikeli Mocetadra, Jone Saukuru, John Stewart, Peni Vaciloa, Jone Wai. Reserves: Waisea Daveta, Jerry Tokamalua, Jo Veitayaki, Netani Vora, Semesa Gonevou, Ledua Mucunabitu, Taione Ravuidama, Necani Wakaya.

*Note - FRU was yet to release the Nadroga team list when this edition went to press last night.





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