Veremalua eager to stamp mark

Jasa Veremalua prepares to pass the ball while Waisea Nacuqu pulls his jersey during the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team training session in London. Picture: SUPPLIED

WHILE all eyes this weekend will be on rugby superstars Josua Tuisova and Semi Radradra as they make their much anticipated return to the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team, one player who is expected to bounce back and make his mark in London is lanky Jasa Veremalua.

After proudly flying the Fiji flag at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the past five years, the Rio Olympics Fiji 7s gold medallist is eager to stamp his mark this weekend at Twickenham.
Veremalua missed out on the Singapore 7s through injury and is expected to return with renewed vigour.
Known for his all-round skills and trademark one-handed ball- handling and off-loading skills, the Korotogo native of Nadroga said he would use this upcoming tournament to cement his spot in the Gareth Baber-coached 7s team.
He said the inclusion of overseas-based players would provide the best test for him and fellow local teammates as they vie for a spot in the 13-member side to feature in London.
“I missed out on the Singapore 7s because of a niggling injury but it didn’t stop me from training,” Veremalua said.
“I have done some active recovery programs to keep me in top shape.
“During my first few training runs after re-joining the team I could feel a huge improvement in my performance.
“And I am ready to bounce back to my top form and improve my work rate in London.”
He said his first challenge was to win a spot in the 12-member team this weekend.
“Everyone in the team has been working hard to secure a place in the 12-member squad.
“It is up to the coach to select his best 12 and if given a chance to play I am ready to give my best.”
Veremalua said the team had set its targets and first up on their list was to win this weekend.
“Our ultimate goal for the 7s series is to win the overall title and we need to do well in London.
“It’s first things first and our aim is to win the London 7s before we can reset our focus for the Paris 7s and the World 7s title.”
He also dedicated his 7s achievements to his wife, daughter and loved ones who had helped him be the player he was today.
Veremalua made his debut for the Fiji 7s team at the 2013 Wellington 7s and was part of the Fiji 7s team that won the World Rugby Sevens Series title for two years before helping the side to win the country’s first gold at the Rio Olympics.
He turned down many lucrative rugby offers to pursue his dream with the Fiji rugby 7s team.
Fiji is pooled with New Zealand, Scotland and Argentina at the London 7s.

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