2018 RWC 7s: ‘The Sledgehammer’ misses out on selection

Eroni Sau busts through a gap against NZ. Picture: FT FILE

WORLD Rugby 7s Rookie of the Year Eroni Sau has missed out on the final 12-member team for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco as Fiji Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber selected a power-packed side.

Baber has opted for Alasio Naduva to provide the much-needed pace to complement the brutal strength of world-class players Semi Radradra and Josua Tuisova.

The Welshman has named a well-balanced team of six forwards and six backs, boosted with the inclusion of six members from the Rio Olympics gold medal winning team.

The six golden players are Leone Nakarawa, Jasa Veremalua, Jerry Tuwai, Tuisova, Semi Kunatani and Vatemo Ravouvou.

Baber’s decision to select the final member team was a tough one as all players have been impressive after their 10 days of high altitude training in Utah.

Joining Nakarawa, Veremalua and Kunatani in the forwards are Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Kalione Nasoko and Paula Dranisinukula.

Amenoni Nasilasila, Radradra, Ravouvou, Tuwai, Naduva and Tuisova are the backs.

Another notable name missing from the side is tireless forward Josua Vakurunabili as Baber opts for experience in his quest to lift the Melrose Cup. Baber has selected the squad he believes will be best suited to the conditions and unique format of the competition.

He praised his squad for their efforts towards the preparation camp where all players put forward a strong case for selection through their energy, intensity and determination to contribute to the team. The side will depart Utah for San Francisco today before commencing their Rugby World Cup Sevens campaign on Friday.

Fiji will face the winner of a qualifying match between Japan and Uruguay in their do or die pool game.

Nippy playmaker Jerry Tuwai will captain the side.

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