Viriviri set for final 7s leg

SAMISONI Viriviri has been named in Ben Ryan’s 17-man Fiji squad for the last two rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

With one eye on Rio, Ryan has named five players based in the UK and France for the Paris and London rounds of the series as he looks to settle on a squad for rugby sevens’ debut at the Olympic Games.

Viriviri (Montauban) returns to the Fiji side for the first time since the 2014 London Sevens where he was also named the 2014 sevens player of the year having finished the season as the top try scorer. Waisea Nayacalevu (Stade Francais), Leone Nakarawa (Glasgow), Josua Tuisova (Toulou) and Semi Kunatani (Toulouse) have also been named in the squad.

“We (Ben Ryan and I) talked about three or four months ago, he said that I will play in one of the tournaments, Hong Kong, Vancouver or Paris,” said Viriviri. “He wanted to see me play. I felt really happy, it was a good feeling to know that I was going to play sevens again.

“I missed it a lot. I prefer to play both sevens and fifteens but when I was growing up that (sevens) is what we played, and I now just want to get out there and play the game as best as possible again.”

Fiji currently lead the standings by eight points having won round six in Hong Kong, and finished runners-up to Kenya at round eight in Singapore. Ryan’s side will be looking to defend their series title and win a third in 17 years, also providing momentum as they bid to win a first Olympic medal for their country in August.

“I’ve been watching them on TV from France,” added Viriviri. “I watch every game.

“Their game structure is strong and they are very fit, they are improving in every tournament and hopefully they will continue. I will meet them in London on 6 May, we will train for about one week and then head back to France.

“Rio would be my main goal, I want to play there and win gold for Fiji. Fiji has not won an Olympic medal before, so maybe now will be our chance. It is a really special moment for sevens, the Olympic Games is like a dream. To be able to play there would be amazing and a special feeling. It would be the first time that sevens will be a part of it and we’d be making history.”

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