Fuli: Fiji loaded with talent in 7s rugby

Fiji sevens interim coach, Saiasi Fuli barks out orders during the Fiji sevens team training session at Albert Park in Suva on Thursday, October 21, 2021. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The Fiji 7s interim coach for the two-Dubai legs of a revamped 2021-2022 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Saiasi Fuli, believes the country is loaded with talents, who have the potential to feature for the Fiji 7s teams.

Fuli said his task was to develop and bring in new players to strengthen the depth chart for the 7s team.

“It’s a new batch and cycle for the Fiji men’s 7s team,” he said.

“We have a talented squad of players coming through the ranks. We were able to select young and talented players, who had been showcasing their skills during the respective club competitions, including the local provincial matches.

“There is immense talent in the country. It is about ushering through the next generation of Fijian 7s stars.”

Fuli said the new players who had been selected were familiar with the 7s environment despite a lack of experience.

He said the men’s team was the number one side in the world and the players selected had to play their part by performing above expectations to enjoy a powerful start to the new 7s series.

“We have 11 debutants in the team and seven would be travelling abroad for the first time. It’s exciting to have them on board.

“We have prepared them psychologically and mentally.”

The new players include policemen Filipe Sauturaga and Joseva Talacolo, Raiwasa-Taveuni quintet Jeremaia Matana, Iowane Raturaciri, Taniela Yaya, Iowane Teba and Manueli Maisamoa, Panapasa Qeruqeru of the Stallions, Wardens’ Tevita Daugunu, Elia Canakaivata and Kaminieli Rasaku.

Only two members of the gold medal-winning team from Tokyo, Waisea Nacuqu and Josua Vakurinabili, were retained with the latter appointed captain in the Dubai event.

The opening leg of the series in Dubai will be played at The Sevens Stadium on Friday and Saturday (Nov 26-27).

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