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Players’ Welfare Is Important, Says Former Fiji 7s Rep

Players’ Welfare Is Important, Says Former Fiji 7s Rep
From left: Fomer Fijian sevens rep Viliame Cegumalua, Waisale Serevi and members of the Cegumalua family on August 2, 2018. Photo: Karalaini Tavi
August 07
11:38 2018

Former Fijian sevens rep Viliame Cegumalua says Fiji Rugby is still lacking the support that players need off the field.

Cegumalua who was part of Fi­ji’s first win during the 1977 Hong Kong Sevens better known as the Mecca of Sevens, played amongst local rugby legends like Tui Ca­vuilati, Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese, Qele Ratu, Isimeli Batibasaga, Robert Howard, Vuata Naresia, Senitiki Nasave, Rupeni Ravonu and Te­vita Rabuli.

Speaking to SUNsports, Cegu­malua recalled being named in to play for the national squad while attending the University of the South Pacific.

“Looking at players now and what they had faced during the Rugby World Cup Sevens, it is the support for the players apart from the game. The financial sup­port as they still need to look af­ter themselves and their family,” the Tunuloa, Cakaudrove native said.

“This can also be a physiologi­cal factor while playing. We were so fortunate that a few of us were working and we were supporting other players and we helped each other in any way.

“At that time I was playing for Rewa and just finished from Ko­ronivia to attend USP for my P2 science studies.

“When I was called to play I did not hold back and was willing to serve my country since back then we played against mighty teams like Samoa and Tonga.

“Our coach was Inoke Tabuale­vu, who persisted that I continue my rugby career but I chose to continue my education.”

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj

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