Suva Rugby targets untapped potential

THE Suva Rugby Union is aiming to use its club players in this year’s Skipper Cup competition.
Head coach and Fiji Airways Fiji 7s assistant coach Saiasi Fuli said the aim was to make use of the untapped players from clubs participating in the Suva competition. Fuli is assisted by former 7s teammate Jope Tuikabe. Suva defeated Malolo 42-13 in round one of the Skipper Cup competition at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori last Saturday. Next in line is Nadroga who Suva defeated last year in the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge as well as the Fiji Rugby Union 10s tournament. Nadroga lost their opening match to Nadi last week by 13-5 and will be prepared to take on Suva next. Fuli said the long-term aim was to groom these new players to become better players and a chance for them to represent the country.

“We have a massive amount of players in the competition and they are very talented,” the former national 7s halfback said. “On Saturday, we had 10 players who represented Suva for the first time and I must commend them for standing their ground against a determined Malolo side who shocked us in the first spell of our opening game.”

Fuli said the inclusion of some of the Skipper Cup campaigners such as former Naitasiri No.8 Isireli Kaloucava and former Northland skipper Isireli Ledua was a bonus for the Suva young side.

“We have a mixture of young and experienced players such as Kaloucava and Ledua, Manueli Laqai, skipper Peni Raidre, who have tasted top rugby in the Australian Rugby Championship with the Fijian Drua and policeman Jone Delana who all guided the young players,” he said.

The future of Suva rugby looks bright as Fuli said the coaching panel planned to build on the winning start as they waited for some of the players who were still out with injuries. He said even though some of the union reps had joined other unions they had players in their ranks who could carry out the job this season.

“It’s a matter of building your players and instil confidence in them so that they can become reliable players in the future,” he said. This week the competition will take a break as the Fiji Rugby Union will hold its annual general meeting (AGM). The Capital City side will tour Nadroga next week to take on the Stallions at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.