Tinai, Ragamate, Bai, Tuivuaka in series campaign

Wardens 7s training at the K9 Unit Grounds in Naboro Corrections Complex yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Fijian 7s legends Ilai Tinai and Joji Ragamate are leading the race to the inaugural Fiji Rugby Union Super Sevens Series.

What was established late last year to prepare Fijians in the abbreviated code during the COVID-19 pandemic, has drawn the curtain to the revival of club 7s competitions in Fiji.

The series which starts at Lawaqa Park in Nadroga on Friday, is to expose more talents in 7s and give more game time to local players and members of the Fiji 7s team during the suspension of the World Rugby Sevens Series.

It is also to help prepare the Fiji 7s team for the defence of the Olympics 7s gold medal in Tokyo, Japan later in the year. Tinai and Ragamate are among the 7s experts who would be at the Super Sevens Series at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka this weekend.

They co-coach the Wardens rugby 7s team from Naboro. Tinai said it would not be a walkover for his players because the cream of Fijian clubs would compete in the series.

“We have a young and vibrant team that has been training nonstop as we prepare for the series,” the former national playmaker said.

“It’s not going to be an easy tournament for us. All teams will come in prepared. For us training has been intense.

“We took part in the Burebasaga 7s to test our players. We have reminded the players to work hard. It is all about rugby passion. We will come in as underdogs and execute our plan well and utilise the oppositions’ mistakes.”

The team includes Fiji sevens rep Asaeli Tuivuaka. Meanwhile, another former 7s stalwart and former Flying Fijians skipper, Seremaia Bai will lead his young Eastern Saints team in the tournament.

“The message to the boys is to enjoy the occasion,” Bai said.

“Our team is made up of young players. They have one thing on their mind and that is to rub shoulders with top players, learn from mistakes and excel.

“It will be tough against top teams such as Army, Tabadamu, Wardens and teams which would include some national reps.

“We know most players from other top teams are seasoned campaigners and very experienced. We need to work hard and play as a team.

“Preparation has been going well and the players are looking forward to this weekend.”

Eastern Saints is in Pool A at Lawaqa Park against Tabadamu, Police White and BLK stallions of Nadroga.

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