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Like The NZ 7s We Must Prepare Well Ahead Of The 2020 Olympics

Like The NZ 7s We Must Prepare Well Ahead Of The 2020 Olympics
Gareth Baber
August 13
12:15 2018

Last week the New Zealand Sevens team signed on veterans Tim Mikkelson, Scott Curry and Joe Webber to stay on for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

After winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal and the Rugby World Cup Sevens, New Zealand 7s coach Clark Laidlaw has now started plotting for the Olympic Games.

Despite Webber’s season being cut short with an arthritic infection which ruled him out of the Commonwealth Games and the remaining tournaments of the season, the playmaker is recovering and set to return to the sevens field next season. Laidlaw knows he will come in handy in 2020.

The three players will form a core base of the squad heading into the next two seasons.

With the Kiwis making the first move, one wonders what is the situation like with our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team, especially when we are the defending Olympic Games champions?

What happened during the 2017/18 HSBC World Sevens Series, Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup Sevens are now water under the bridge.

Going forward we must  keep the focus.

Already, we’ve lost robust utility back Eroni Sau who has joined French Top 14 club Perpignan and there are indications that captain Seremaia Tuwai could be heading overseas as well if talks with clubs playing in the Major League Rugby in the United States of America prove successful.

Already, former Fijian 7s captain and Olympian Osea Kolinisau and winger Josua Vici are doing well for the Houston Strikers in that competition.

Head coach Gareth Baber should now have a fair idea on the players who will be the core of his squad in the 2018/2019 World Sevens Series leading up to the Olympic Games.

Already, veteran forward Jasa Veremalua has indicated his intention to stay on and he should be supported by players like Vatemo Ravouvou along with Paula Dranisinukula, Josua Vakurinabili and Mesulame Kunavula.

Old hands like Apisai Domolailai, and Kitione Taliga should be considered as well.

And Baber should also look at giving more game time to upcoming players like Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Tieri Tamani, Kepony Paul, Vasikali Mudu and Sakeo Raloa.

We don’t have to be like New Zealand, but we can create our very own way of ensuring that we’ve a best prepared side come the 2020 Olympic Games.





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