7s coach rates Maqala highly

Sireli Maqala, with ball, tries to beat the defence during the Fiji 7s extended squad training session at the Uprising Beach Resort sports complex in Deuba on Thursday, January 28, 2021. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Team Fiji men’s rugby 7s coach Garth Baber has been impressed with the rise of talented Ra native Sireli Maqala selecting him as the 13th player for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Maqala, who hails from Burewai Village in Nakorotabu, displayed a lot of energy and pace during the Pacifi cAus Sports Oceania 7s tournament in Australia last month. The 21 year old scored a brace of tries in the 26-14 win over the hosts in the opening match of the tournament.

Maqala caught the eye of Baber playing for the Dominion Brothers under-20 team in a local tournament. Baber said Maqala was a strong and exceptional player, adding Maqala brings pace, energy and physicality to the game.

“In fairness he certainly had a good period of time with us. I wasn’t quite sure how he would progress in such a short space of time. You see talent but you can’t say how that talent is going to come through.”

“Sometimes, talent can get better. He is a young
man but he has done a lot of great work.”

Maqala plays for the Nabua Rugby Club and has also represented Suva in the Skipper Cup competition.

Baber said Maqala had a bright future in the sport.

“Probably the thing that stands out with him is his lack of experience and there are a couple of others around there as well who have that.

But what he brings to the game is pace, energy, physicality and has a lovely step as well.

“Obviously, the people around the world are starting to look at it now. I’m very impressed with his development and very pleased for him that he is on the right track.

“I think that with the way he is going that one day he will go for bigger and better things for himself.”

With the latest rule amendment for the Tokyo Olympic Games rugby competition, teams are entitled to register 13 players for each game

More Stories