Opinion

We On The Cusp Of Some Great 7s News

There are great vibes coming from Paris about our  Vodafone Fijian 7s team named for this weekend’s tournament. The inclusion of four overseas-based players has heightened speculation that something special
14 May 2016 09:31
We On The Cusp Of Some Great 7s News
fijisevens team

There are great vibes coming from Paris about our  Vodafone Fijian 7s team named for this weekend’s tournament. The inclusion of four overseas-based players has heightened speculation that something special is about to be unearthed this morning when the Fijians play their opening game against Scotland at 5.44am.

The four come with impressive credentials, bringing with them the perfect attributes for 7s rugby. They have agility, speed muscle, skills and experience. In short, they have class.

Their biggest challenge is whether how quickly they can gel with the rest of the team who have been together for awhile.

Samisoni Viriviri is no stranger to the national side. He made his name in 7s because of his outright speed. He is our answer to South African fastmen Rosko Specman and Seabelo Senatla, Kenya’s Collins Injera, Samuel Oliech, and American Perry Baker. Viriviri was the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year in 2013/2014 and the only Fijian to get the award.

The French club, Montauban winger, is a very nice and humble guy off the field, but is devastating on the field. He is one of Ben Ryan’s trump cards who has always delivered during crunch times.

Another Fijian rugby export to France, Toulon’s winger Josua Tuisova adds needed strength to the side. He brings the lethal combination of bulk and speed. Last week, he scored a spectacular length of the  field try and beat three defenders before he dotted down against Castres in the French top 14 competition. The French rugby public dubbed him “The Beast” from that performance. He is rated as one of the top wingers in the competition.

Stade Francais winger Waisea Nayacalevu joins the group of X-factor players in the side. He was the best player for Stade Francais last year. It was 7s that propelled him to stardom. If he can recapture that 7s form then we will see the long striding Nayacalevu of old when he brought crowds to their feet as a rampaging forward.

Lanky Leone Nakarawa, former Glasgow Warriors lock, now in the process of switching to a French club, is a player of exceptional ability. He is a workhorse who can play in any role because of his agility, vision and versatility. He is a deceptive player who can run as a back and do the hard grunt in forward play. His phenomenal off-load ability, in the same mould as New Zealand superstar Sonny Bill Williams, makes him a great asset.

The quartet will complement the regulars Osea Kolinisau (captain), Vatemo Ravouvou, Kitione Taliga, Apisai Domolailai,  Jasa Veremalua, Isake Katonibau, Aminoni Nasilasila and Seremaia Tuwai.

On paper, this is a star-studded team capable of beating any team. Ben Ryan has picked the players knowing full well the combined  strength. The first back-to-back win for the Fijians is there for the taking this weekend and is a big motivation. It doubles as a trial for the four overseas-based players as Ben Ryan works on the final squad for the Rio Olympics.

But for this weekend and London next week, this team can deliver. For the four, they could be booking their place for Rio if they put on a sublime performance. Watch for blockbusting play from the Fijians and go Fiji go.

NEMANI DELAIBATIKI

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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