New 7s find

Fiji Airways Fiji 7s new squad member Napolioni Ratu in Kadavu last week. Picture: SUPPLIED

NEW 7s find Napolioni Ratu has caught the attention of Fiji Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber.

The Yasawa playmaker who is playing for the Wadigi Salvo 7s team in Lauwaki, Lautoka, joined the national 7s training camp and featured for the Nabukelevu 7s in Kadavu helping the team to win the top award.

Ratu played for the Yasawa team during the Vodafone Vanua Challenge and later joined the Wadigi side for the 7s competition.

The nippy playmaker has been eyed by Baber as a perfect cover and understudy for star playmakers such as Amenoni Nasilasila and Vatemo Ravouvou.

Wadigi 7s president Apimeleki Nasalo said Ratu had the potential to fill in the shoes of great Fiji 7s playmakers.

“Ratu has the pace to burn, big sidesteps to confuse the oppositions and is a good defender,” Baber said.

“He has been playing 7s for a while and reads the game well.

He is a committed and a disciplined player and I was not surprised when he joined the national 7s team.”

Nasalo thanked Baber for giving Ratu a chance to train with the national squad.

Baber said there was a need to recruit new players to cover for injuries and those securing overseas contracts.

He said he wanted to test the new players at local 7s tournaments and analyse their performance.

He said he would continue to search for talents in local 7s events.

“I want to see the Fiji team playing at local 7s competitions and test them under pressure.

“I will continue to see three or more players making their debut in the group.”

Ratu will be in action for the DM 7s side which comprises a shadow national 7s team the Turnbull Namamanuca Primary School 7s tournament on Thursday and Friday.

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