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Our Future 7s Stars

Our Future 7s Stars
Vodafone Fijian Under-20 rugby players (left-right) Jiuta Wainiqolo, Meli Derenalagi, Vereniki Tiko, Ilikena Vudogo at Borron House, Suva on August 20, 2018. They are going to spearhead our campaign at the World Rugby Trophy Championship in Romania next week. Photo: Karalaini Tavi
August 21
10:00 2018

Expect to see some members of our Vodafone Fijian Under-20 rugby side represent the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team in the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series.

Yesterday, Fijian U20 head coach Koli Sewabu confirmed to SUNsports that they have been having talks with Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber on recruit­ing a few members from the U20 squad.

As the U20 side prepare for the 2018 World Rugby Trophy Championship in Romania, Sewabu says, Baber has a few players in mind which he has been fol­lowing up on.

“It is more informal talks,” the former Flying Fijian No.8 said.

“He (Baber) is probably identified a few of the boys who have the talent for sev­ens rugby and is monitoring them.

“That is not the focus. For us we are more focused on winning the 2018 World Rugby Trophy Championship in Roma­nia next week.”

However, Sewabu added that the play­ers Baber is looking at are, Ilikena Vu­dogo, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Meli Derenalagi and Vereniki Tiko.

“Once we come back Baber can further look at some of those players that he is already keen on,” he added.

“Those are some of the boys who I think have the capability to play sevens as well.

“There are so many seven players in Fiji who are already in a pathway sys­tem.

“It is up to Baber what sort of pathway he wants to develop them into.

“As long as they go out there, get ex­posed, bring the experience back and then they can decide either to play sev­ens or fifteens.”

In an interview with Baber last Sunday, he confirmed that he will be selecting players from not only the U20 team but also from the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua side.

The Fijian Drua play their opening 2018 Australian National Rugby Champion­ship opener against Melbourne Rising at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori on Sat­urday, September 1. Then on September 8, they face Brisbane City at Churchill Park, Lautoka.

Last year Baber recruited Drua players Eroni Sau, Avete Daveta and Vasikali Mudu for the 2017/18 World Sevens Se­ries.

Sau was later named the World Rugby Sevens Rookie of the Year and has now signed up with French Top 14 club Per­pignan.

“There are a few players that I will be looking at in the next few months,” Baber added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj

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