Players battle for 7s series spots

Ilikena Vudogo during the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team training session at Albert Park yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

FIJI Airways 7s men’s coach Gareth Baber said this would be a great opportunity for players to prove themselves if they wanted to make the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series squad for Dubai.

Baber has roped in two under-20 players Filimoni Botitu and Ilikena Vudolo in the side for this weekend. Ahead of the 2018 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship this weekend, Baber has laid down the challenge to all players with Kalione Nasoko leading the team.

With the inclusion of new players, it has challenged the senior players to work extra hard. “We need high pressure competition to really test them,” he said.

“When you get to this position you become really professional on how you look after yourself when you are away from camp.

“They have shown their ability and the two young boys Botitu and Vudolo both have worked hard and they have good qualities in terms of how they play. “The other player Beniamino Vota has played in local tournaments and played very well and has a good working ethics.

“He is a good person to be around you and trusted.

“For Batinisavu Uluiyata he has played in the series, he has continued working and wants to improve and has impressed people in the position and has put up his hands for future selection. “It is a matter of them getting the opportunity.”

Captain Nasoko said come this weekend they knew the onus was on them to prove themselves not just to the selectors but to the people of Fiji as well.

“It will be a tough competition for us but we know that the players will play their hearts out and achieve their target,” Nasoko said.

The competition will start on Friday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

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