Nasoko ready to fight for spot

Kalione Nasoko in Yasawa during the Vuaki 7s. He will be one of the key players in Gareth Baber’s Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team this season. Picture: MACIU MALO

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s team new offload specialist Kalione Nasoko will play a key role for the national team at the coming HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The Waya native made his debut at the Dubai 7s in 2016 and has never missed a single world 7s series tournament since then.

Nasoko, who won the best player award at the 2016 Hong Kong 7s, will be one of the experienced players to watch this season as head coach Gareth Baber toured around the country scouting for players.

With Jasa Veremalua, Eroni Sau out of the team because overseas contracts, Nasoko will be a key man in the forwards for this year’s series.

He has been training with the national 7s teammates over the past months in readiness for the next season.

Nasoko said he had been working hard at training and his aim was to retain his spot for Fiji at the Dubai 7s tournament next month.

He said all the players in the training camp were also gunning for the same goal.

“The new season comes with a huge challenge and I will have to work hard to retain my spot in the side,” said Nasoko.

“There are few more boys joining the side and all interested to make the cut — this has inspired me to work hard.

“I know it is going to be hard but it will not stop me from doing my best.”

Nasoko and his national 7s teammates won the Nabukelevu 7s in Kadavu last weekend and the boys are also tipped to win the Turnbull Mamanauca Primary School 7s tournament this week.

Meanwhile, Baber has included some new boys in the national training squad and tested them in Kadavu last week.

Baber said the new season offered new challenge as he continued to scout for talents and build on a winning combination.

“I want fit and healthy players who have done the work during the off-season and progressed through the games in preseason,” he said.

“It takes a while to build a team and obviously we have lost a couple of players so it’s about solidifying the team and testing the boys under pressure.”

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