Sevens marked man
4 May, 2016, 12:00 am
LANKY Pio Tuwai, who is widely regarded as the off-load king has been the subject of scrutiny in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
In an interview, Tuwai admitted he was a marked man but he was unfazed by the attention he was receiving from other participating nations in the 7s series particularly as they seek to curtail his consistent ability to off-load when tackled.
“I am grateful to the Lord each day that I get another chance to be part of the squad and travel with the team to the next leg. I know there have been a lot of other participating nations in the world series that have targeted me and my style of play along with the rest of the team but I won’t let that affect me and my goals,” he said.
Tuwai is part of a squad of 25 players who are vying for a spot in the 13-member team to the Rio Olympics.
He said with only two more tournaments to go and the increasing competition between the players for a spot in the team, he had set himself a goal to be one of the few that grace the Olympics.
“I know in the next leg there are players that have already donned the national jumper and played the abbreviated code who are equally seeking for a spot to Rio, but I will not be discouraged. I will continue my efforts to be one of those that travel for the Olympics,” he said.
Vodafone Fiji 7s team manager Ropate Kauvesi said there were more players that were still vying for a spot to compete in Rio other than the 25 member squad.
“There are people that are still calling that want to be part of the team. They want to be part of this historical walk we are going through and we are excited to be part of it. We are on the right track. We haven’t peaked yet, we are still climbing up and we are happy we are still number one in the world and we wanted to attack the world title, not defend it and we’re still attacking it now,” he said.
The team departs the country today for France and have a full week of preparations before the Paris 7s next week.