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Four new finds

Maikeli Seru
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

LEMEKI Tulele is a step closer to achieving his rugby dream.

He marched into camp with members of the Fiji 7s squad at the Uprising Resort, Pacific Harbour, last evening.

He had always wanted to become a Fiji rep.

After leading his First Light Taveuni 7s team at the Coral Coast 7s in Sigatoka last month, the Qeleni villager was among the four new caps added to the squad to prepare for the Las Vegas and Vancouver 7s on March 3-5 and March 11-12 respectively.

The other players are Josua Kurinabili of Wardens, Paula Dranisinukula (Army), and Tevita Nabura.

"This is the first time I am called to represent my country and I am very, very happy about the opportunity," Tulele said.

Tulele, 28, returned home last Christmas after a one-year contract in Malaysia.

"I am part of the squad, but will be out to prove my worth so that I can be selected. This is a dream come true because I had always wanted to play for Fiji."

The inclusion of the four players speaks volumes of the combination being built by coach Gareth Baber, who is still finding his footing on his new job with the world and Olympic 7s rugby champions.

Despite missing the New Zealand and Australian titles, the inclusion of Tulele, a utility backline and game breaker like Joeli Lutumailagi, shows Baber is building his combination around fast legs and "can do all" campaigners.

He said after the Sydney 7s that while it was hard to break the momentum set by series leaders South Africa, he would review Fiji's performance in the last leg and set the plan and game tactics for the US and Canada leg.

His captain Osea Kolinisau said the challenge was on the Vodafone Fiji 7s team which was third on the series after two legs (South Africa 85, England 68, Fiji 64, NZ 56) to win to retain the series title.

"It's good to start again on the drawing board and work on our mistakes and things we need to improve on from the last two legs," he said.

"Sevens rugby is a game of opportunity and we did not manage that well in Sydney. We will work hard to improve and win," he said.

Meanwhile, Jerry Tuwai did not join camp last night because of family commitments.

Tuwai said he would join camp sometimes this week and will accompany the team to Las Vegas and Vancouver if selected.

Squad: Jasa Veremalua, Kalione Nasoko, Mesulami Kunavula, Nemani Nagusa, Setareki Bituniyata, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Paula Dranisinukula, Apisai Domolailai, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Jerry Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu, Alivereti Veitokani, Vatemo Ravouvou, Samisoni Viriviri, Joshua Vici, Nacani Labalaba, Joeli Lutumailagi, Osea Kolinisau, Tevita Nabura, Josua Kurinabili, Lemeki Tulele, Emosi Mulevoro, Amenoni Nasilasila.The inclusion of the four players speaks volumes of the combination being built by coach Gareth Baber, who is still finding his footing on his new job with the world and Olympic 7s rugby champions.

Despite missing the New Zealand and Australian titles, the inclusion of Tulele, a utility backline and game breaker like Joeli Lutumailagi, shows Baber is building his combination around fast legs and "can do all" campaigners.

He said after the Sydney 7s that while it was hard to break the momentum set by series leaders South Africa, he would review Fiji's performance in the last leg and set the plan and game tactics for the US and Canada leg.

His captain, Osea Kolinisau, said the challenge was on the Vodafone Fiji 7s team which was third on the series after two legs (South Africa 85, England 68, Fiji 64, NZ 56) to win to retain the series title.

"It's good to start again on the drawing board and work on our mistakes and things we need to improve on from the last two legs," he said.

"Sevens rugby is a game of opportunity and we did not manage that well in Sydney.

"We will work hard to improve and win," he said.

Meanwhile, Jerry Tuwai did not join camp last night because of family commitments.

Tuwai said he would join camp sometimes this week and would accompany the team to Las Vegas and Vancouver if selected.

Squad:

Jasa Veremalua, Kalione Nasoko, Mesulami Kunavula, Nemani Nagusa, Setareki Bituniyata, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Paula Dranisinukula, Apisai Domolailai, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Jerry Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu, Alivereti Veitokani, Vatemo Ravouvou, Samisoni Viriviri, Josua Vici, Nacani Labalaba, Joeli Lutumailagi, Osea Kolinisau, Tevita Nabura, Josua Kurinabili, Lemeki Tulele, Emosi Mulevoro, Amenoni Nasilasila.








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