Raring to go

Fiji Airways Fiji 7s reps, Waisea Nacuqu, Vatemo Ravouvou, Leone Nakarawa and Kalione Nasoko with fans in Utah. Picture: SUPPLIED

OFF-LOAD king Leone Nakarawa believes two weeks of training in Utah is more than enough to prepare himself for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco next weekend.

Nakarawa last played 7s at the Rio Olym- pics in 2016 when he helped Fiji win its first Olympics gold medal.

Over the past two years, the Kadavu native has been hitting rugby headlines in Europe for his Racing 92 team in the French Top 14 before being recalled for 7s duties.

Nakarawa said he started his rugby career in 7s and the two weeks training in Utah, USA, would prepare him for the world cup.

“It is after two years that I will play 7s again,” he said.

“I started playing 7s before I played 15s and I am looking forward to the challenge and the responsibility.”

Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team coach Gareth Baber said Nakarawa had been working extra hard at training.

He said his off-loading skills were second to none and commanded the respect of his fellow teammates.

“Leone is down to earth and a natural leader and the big question many will be asking is his condition,” said Baber.

“He is a seasoned professional and had one heck of a season in Racing and the Flying Fijians.

“He worked extremely hard. I watched him in 15s, he played 15s game like the 7s game.

“He is great around the players and the boys look up to him on what he has achieved.”

Nakarawa is among forwards Semi Ku- natani, Jasa Veremalua, Kalione Nasoko, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Paula Dranisinukula and Jo Vakurinabili who are competing for a spot in the forwards.

The team will be named on Sunday.

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