It’s 7s fever

Training at The Sevens for HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018, Dubai - UAE - Photos Martin Seras Lima

IT’S that time of the year once again when Fijian rugby fans get caught up with the fever of our favourite sports, sevens rugby.

It is our favourite because we have had many exciting moments in years gone by and we have ruled the world with our unique talents and have also had disappointments, which is all part of life as the wisest man, King Solomon, said in the Bible that there was a season for everything under heaven.

“A time to be born, and a time to die, … A time to break down, And a time to build up, a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance … (Ecclesiates 3:1-4).

The Dubai Sevens kicks off tomorrow for the 2018-2019 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and we look forward to a grand start from Gareth Baber’s Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team inspired by our historic victory in Paris over France in the full code last weekend.

The victory is also evidence of the great development work and influence of sevens rugby on the XVs game.

Four players from the team that beat France were also Rio Olympic Games sevens gold medallists such as Semi Kunatani, Josua Tuisova, Leone Nakarawa and Viliame Mata.

Players like Vereniki Goneva had begun with Fiji sevens rugby.

Eroni Sau, Semi Radradra and Alifereti Veitokani are the other sevens stars in that team.

Radradra made his debut in sevens under coach Alivereti Dere and Etuate Waqa in the 2013 Gold Coast Sevens victory, switched to rugby league, returned to union playing in France and played in the losing Melrose Cup team last year.

Baber has a new captain in Yasawa man Kalione Nasoko who replaces Jerry Tuwai to give him more freedom to express himself with his unique talents. Nasoko is not only an out and out speedster, who could play anywhere, he is also a tactical-minded man in his approach.

The return of Mesulame Kunavula adds forward power to the side and he is expected to explode into new form after having been rested from top rugby for a couple of months. The team is a blend of experienced and new talents with new faces experienced from local sevens tournaments.

Another budding star in Nawaka man Ratu Meli Derenalagi has emerged and he is expected to carry on the legacy of Nawaka sevens stars of yesteryears.

Tuwai and Ravouvou are the two remaining Olympics gold medallists from Rio in the side.

Dubai has been the stronghold of England teams because of great support there and we have also had memorable victories there including the 44-0 thrashing on New Zealand in 2015.

There are many hurdles our team face and teething poblems expected but our faith in Baber’s side are high.

We believe we’ve had our share of disappointments in the past season and it is time again to dance and celebrate.

Squad: Mesulame Kunavula, Kalione Nasoko, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Beniamino Vota, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Ratu Meli Derenalagi, Jerry Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu, Vatemo Ravouvou, Aminoni Nasilasila, Vilimoni Botitu, Alosio Naduva, Filimoni Tuimaba.

More Stories