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'Vakurinabuli to shine'

Maciu Malo
Saturday, May 20, 2017

FIJI may be out of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title contention but surely as always — the flamboyant South Seas Islanders will have something special in the bag to amaze the rugby 7s fans.

And despite the absence of one of Fiji 7s new find in lanky Mesulame Kunavula through injury, the side is expected to unleash another giant in Wardens 7s forward Josua Vakurinabuli.

The Vatukarasa man, who is the younger brother of former Fiji 7s rep Inia Tukere, has been one of the consistent performers in the Max Hughes-coached Wardens 7s team since 2015.

He was named in the Mana Whey Coral Coast 7s Dream Team early this year before being named to join the Gareth Baber-coached Fiji 7s training squad.

Hughes said the new kid on the block would shine if given the chance to play this weekend at the England 7s.

"He is very skilful, disciplined, tough in defence and good ball runner," he said.

"He doesn't talk often but always does his talking on the field.

"Josh has the same calibre of Kalione Nasoko — very good with ball in hands and I hope and wish if he can be given a chance to play this weekend."

The Namosi head coach said Vakurinabuli would deliver the goods required from his position.

"He is also good in aerial contest and I am confident he will do well."

Hughes said Fiji still had the chance to produce the goods at the last tournament of the season in London.

He said the onus was on the players to combine well and comradely play their hearts out.

"The onus is on the boys -they should have the 'one mind-one soul' concepts — one for all, all for one."

Meanwhile, Vakurinabuli, who is expected to replace Kunavula is likely to be joined by skipper Osea Kolinisau, Kalioni Nasoko, Jasa Veremalua, Vatemo Ravouvou, Jerry Tuwai, Amenoni Nasilasila, Waisea Nacuqu, Glenn Cakautini, Setareki Bituniyata, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Paula Dranisinukula in the final 12 team with Samu Bale likely to be the 13th player.

Fiji is pooled with New Zealand, Japan and Canada.








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