Fuli wants former rugby players to join coaching

Saiasi Fuli receives his prize for being the best coach for 2017 from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on Friday night. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Saiasi Fuli receives his prize for being the best coach for 2017 from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on Friday night. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FIJI Rugby Union 2017 coach of the year Saiasi Fuli has dedicated the award to the Suva rugby fraternity.

According to Fuli the Suva Rugby Union had done a lot in recent years grooming players from the club level to national duties.

He said it was a collective effort of the stakeholders.

“I would like to thank the Suva Rugby Union for what it has done,” Fuli said.

“They are trying to rebuild the status that they were in the last ten to 30 years.

“This award is dedicated to all the Suva executives, the players that featured in the 2017 season and the other coaching staff.

“It is not only something about me in coaching. It is a collective effort. From my side, it is a good achievement in itself because we managed to promote good international players to the Fiji Airways Drua, the Flying Fijians, the Fiji 7s team, the Fiji Warriors and the Fiji under-20 team.

“In all it was about 25 players who managed to go from provincial level to the national level. So it is all about the right concept of coaching from the Suva Rugby Union.”

Fuli represented the Fiji under-21 team and the national 7s side and the Flying Fijians.

He said they had a positive outing for the 2017 season.

“It’s an achievement not by the coaches but the players as well,” Fuli said.

“They have managed to go from the club level, to the provincial level to the national level.

“The reward came when I was appointed as the national 7s assistant coach late last year.

“Personally, I would like to thank my family, my wife Elenoa and two children Tuilagi and Jeremaia for giving me all the encouragement to continue and develop the sport.

“It is all the work that we need to support to provide a positive input that Fiji rugby needs.

“I played for nearly 15 to 18 years. I was the head coach for Nabua and the University of the South Pacific. I was assistant coach for Suva for six years before being promoted to head coach in 2016.

“Now I’m the director coaching for Suva which is another step up looking after the women’s team, the under-20 and also assist with the senior team.

“I work with the Fiji 7s team so there is a lot of demand. I have support from the national 7s team staff and squad.

Fuli said more people need to get into coaching especially the former players.

“The ratio is very big in terms of quality coaches and the amount of participation of players,” he said.

“I would like to encourage more former players to get accredited with level one and level two certificates then assist in developing the sport.”

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