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New Blood For Vegas

  Vodafone Fijian 7s head coach Ben Ryan is likely to select two new players for the World Sevens Series Las Vegas-Vancouver leg next month. The new players in the
19 Feb 2016 12:13
New Blood For Vegas
Vodafone 7's side during team training at Uprising Beach Resort ground yesterday. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

 

Vodafone Fijian 7s head coach Ben Ryan is likely to select two new players for the World Sevens Series Las Vegas-Vancouver leg next month.

The new players in the extended training squad are Frank Lomani, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Waqa Robanakadavu, Sevuloni Tawake and former national rep Livai Ikanikoda.

Ryan was impressed with their progress during training at the Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour.

“With the way things are going, I will be picking at least two of the new boys to make their debut in Vegas.

“They are learning fast, they came in with a little bit lack of understanding with some of our defensive shape, attack and ball skills but they have really improved dramatically, they have good attitude,” Ryan said.

Ikanikoda comeback

The Lomanikoro, Rewa native returns to the national 7s squad after four years. Ikanikoda sustained a knee injury during the Dubai 7s in 2011 and has been participating in domestic competitions.

“Livai has been playing very well in local tournaments with the Police team,”he said.

“He’s trimmed down,in good shape and we can play him as a scrumhalf, playmaker and easily plays as hooker as well, so it’s good flexibility.”

Ikanikoda has come in place for the duo Kaveni Dabenaise and Filipo Daugunu who have taken up playing contracts in Australia.

“The two young players did not show up in training but that’s their loss, it’s the opportunity now for some other players to take,” he said.

Ryan also confirmed they would be getting in another forwards to camp.

“We might bring in another forward to give us couple of options as well.” Ryan said.

 

Injuries

Lanky forward Pio Tuwai has joined the injury list alongside Viliame Mata and Apisai Domolailai and the trio will not travel to Las Vegas and Vancouver.

Ryan they said the trio will return for Hong Kong-Singapore leg in April.

“Viliame Mata, Apisai Domolailai, Pio Tuwai are all injured,’Ryan said.

“Semi Kunatani is back in France so 4 of our 6 forwards that we have in the last tournament will not be around.

“Pio was severely dehydrated, he could have food poisoning, he could have number of things from drinking some water,” Ryan said.

Despite the disappointment Ryan said there would be opportunities for other talented players.

“We got some other boys that are here, I’m excited with some new talents that we are going to give chance to in the next few tournaments.”

He said the Fijian support in Vegas will boost the team’s performance.

“In Vegas we got major support from Fijians last year, it was a world of sky blue on one side of the field so that’s going to help us immensely.” Edited by Osea Bola

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