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Fiji Airways Fijian 7s forward Apenisa Cakaubalavu and Josua Tuisova during their training run at the Vineyard, Utah Valley University. Photo: University of Utah.
July 15
10:04 2018

Who’s going to make the final 12 for the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team?

That’s the question head coach Ga­reth Baber is working on to determine his final team for the Rugby World Cup Sevens which kicks-off in San Francisco on July 20-22.

“I’m in a tough situation because of the dif­ferent nature of players,” he told SUNsports this week when asked about the final selec­tion of his team.

It’s going to be tough.

The Welshman has to consider the type of players that is needed to suit the style they are going to adopt, especially when playing at the AT&T Stadium, a baseball park and home of the San Francisco Giants.

The size of a baseball ground does not suit our running game.

Baber has to utilise his UK- based players of Leone Nakarawa, Semi Kunatani, Josua Tuisova and Semi Radradra who are going to add that extra physical strength and power to the team.

They are the ones along with Paula Dranisi­nukula, Kalione Nasoko and Josua Vakurina­bili who should be tasked of drawing in the opposition before pushing the ball out wide for the fast men to do the damage.

The same goes with veteran forward Jasa Veremalua but he’s facing a lot of competi­tion from Sevuloni Mocencagi, who is capa­ble of playing at rover as well.

Veremalua’s only setback is his knee injury but if he’s fit then he’s a definite starter. His contribution in terms of experience, speed and ability to win the aerial balls is very val­uable to the team.

Sevu also has all of that but the only draw­back is his inability to control his temper es­pecially during pressure situations.

The Kiwis exploited this during the Com­monwealth Games final in Gold Coast when he copped a yellow card for an unnecessary dangerous tackle on Sam Dickson. With a man down, we lost the momentum and came out second best. Again, it happened in Twickenham during the London 7s, where he shoved Kurt Baker but was fortunate that the referee overlooked it.

For our backline captain Seremaia Tuwai, Vatemo Ravouvou and Amenoni Nasilasila are going to be our trump cards and should have no problem in making the final list.

As Baber will officially announce his squad in San Francisco tomorrow, this is my pick on who is could be in the final 12.

My pick: Nakarawa, Dranisinukula, Vakurinabili, Kunatani, Nasoko, Veremal­ua, Tuwai, Ravouvou, Nasilasila, Tuisova, Radradra and Eroni Sau.

Edited by Osea Bola


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