SPORTS

Fiji 7s Players Told To Rest And Not Participate In Local 15s Competitions

No Skipper Cup, Vodafone Vanua or club games, says Fiji Rugby Union CEO
13 Jun 2019 15:49
Fiji 7s Players Told To Rest And Not Participate In Local 15s Competitions
Police wing and former national 7s rep Keponi Paul is mobbed by the Navy forwards during Suva Rugby Union Escott Shield semi- final at Bidesi Park, Suva on June 12, 2019. Story on page 49. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s players have been told to rest and not play in any fifteens competition.

The directive came from Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor.

Speaking to SUNsports last night, O’Connor said they had to turn down requests from clubs and unions who wanted to play members of the Gareth Baber-coached 7s side.

“The players have been told to rest and recuperate after a hectic World Sevens Series,” he said.

“The players are to rest until they start their off season training for the next series.”

The Fijians won the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series as they gear towards the upcoming series followed by 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

In yesterday’s Suva Rugby Union Escott Shield semi-finals, Navy had to play without Meli Derenalagi while Army Green had to rest speedster Alasio Naduva, Aminiasi Tuimaba and 7s captain Paula Dranisinukula.

BOTITU OUT, TALIGA IN

Similarly, the Jack’s Nadi rugby side will miss the services of star rover Vilimoni Botitu in Saturday’s Skipper Cup Premiership semi-final clash against Suva.

Botitu who won the DHL Impact Player of the Series is currently training with the Nadi rugby side.

This was confirmed by NRU treasurer Jeff Tamata who had earlier said they would love to see Botitu play for them.

However, they have been boosted with the return of Olympian and key playmaker Kitione Taliga.

Furthermore, Tamata said the last time Nadi played in the Skipper Cup semi-final was in 2015.

Nadi topped the points table that year and faced fourth placed Namosi who scored an upset win at Prince Charles Park, Nadi.

“Namosi proved that day that when it comes to the semi-final stage, no team can be taken for granted. After four years then we march into the semis again. Suva is the top seed. Nadi is the fourth seed team.

“The same thing Nadi is planning this year. We will rock Suva’s boat so hard that it will cause a lot of damage. Don’t miss the rocking of the boat this Saturday.

“We have big request to the fans of Nadi rugby and also to the vanua to come and support our boys in Suva. They need it so much and it will be a big boost for them.”

Edited by  Leone  Cabenatabua

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