The players to watch

Aisake Katonibau "Ice" of Army Green looks for support against Tabadamu during the Uluinakau7's at Ratu Cakobau Park yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Aisake Katonibau "Ice" of Army Green looks for support against Tabadamu during the Uluinakau7's at Ratu Cakobau Park yesterday. Picture: RAMA

WITH the Marist 7s starting today, players will be on their toes trying to impress the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s officials for inclusion in the national training squad.

With the Asian leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in two weeks and the Commonwealth Games next month, we have seven players who will be on the watch list during the two-day event at the ANZ Stadium.

Players to watch:

Isake Katonibau (Army): Former Fiji 7s captain and member of the training squad to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Recently joined the Fiji 7s training camp and has been in top form this season. Helped Fiji claim the Hong Kong 7s last year and later announced his retirement. On a comeback to claim his team spot.

Jone Vota (Tabadamu): Has the height and speed as a forward and also can play on the wing. He was a former Fiji 7s player and had been part of Tabadamu’s three-year reign in the Marist 7s.

Kinijoji Lagilagi (First Light Taveuni): He is six feet two inches tall and could be one of the players to reckon with in future. His height is his biggest advantage. Good in contesting line-outs and retaining the ball during kick-offs and restarts. A future star for Fiji rugby.

Junior Gaunimeke (Tabadamu): A slippery customer and a good defender. The younger brother of former 7s rep Peni Gaunimeke is good at the base of the scrum and will be playing a vital role for his team this weekend.

Kitione Taliga (Police): A former Fiji 7s rep who won gold in Rio. He is fighting his way back into Gareth Baber’s team. Police will be relying on his sheer speed and field vision to get them the title.

Sakeo Railoa (Police): He has the speed to burn being a former 100 metres sprinter for Nasinu Secondary School, is the brother of French 15s and 7s star Virimi Vakatawa. He is a former rugby league player and signed a three-year contract with Penrith Panthers in 2012. He helped Police win three titles this season. Former Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan rated the bulky winger who also can play at rover.

Terry Tamani (Tabadamu): Two-time Marist 7s player of the tournament and could be Fiji’s answer to problem in the playmaker’s position. Very elusive and a hard defender. Small in build, but a hardworking player. His teammates will rely on him to work his magic for another title defence.