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'Uluiyata's time'

Maciu Malo In Las Vegas
Friday, March 02, 2018

FORMER Fiji secondary schools athletics middle distance champion, Batinisavu Uluiyata brings a new dimension to the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team, says head coach Gareth Baber.

He said the former Natabua High School student had added pace in the team with the absence of Hamilton 7s player of the final, Alasio Naduva.

Uluiyata has been training with the Fiji 7s team from last year and this tournament will be his biggest break despite having played for the Fiji Babaas during the Pacific Games. Baber said the trip was to expose Uluiyata at top level competition, especially the culture of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

"He is a good talented young man and he is a 400m sprinter instead of a 100m," said Baber.

"He is a different player to Naduva and this is his first trip to learn about the cultural things happening around him.

"He might get his opportunity this weekend, if not then may be later."

Meanwhile, Baber yesterday confirmed that flyer Naduva failed to travel to Las Vegas because of his peacekeeping duties with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces in Iraq.

"Obvisiouly, I would like to see him this weekend, unfortunately he had an issue with his visa. It was difficult for him because he has served his country with the peacekeeping force in Iraq and that prevented him from coming.

"We are still trying all avenues and if he missed out, we still have other weapons in our team that strategically would inject the team. He will be missed and we still have our chance to get him back in the team."

It is expected that Naduva will rejoin the team in Vancouver.

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