SPORTS

Bulikiobo Back In 7s Fold

After being away from the sevens scene for two years, Esiteri Bulikiobo is back in the Telecom Fijiana squad who are preparing for the Japan leg of the WomenSevens Series
31 Mar 2017 10:30
Bulikiobo Back In 7s Fold
Esiteri Bulikiobo during training session at the HPU gym yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

After being away from the sevens scene for two years, Esiteri Bulikiobo is back in the Telecom Fijiana squad who are preparing for the Japan leg of the WomenSevens Series next month.

The 28-year-old from Nadamole village in Cakaudrove last played for Fijiana in 2015 during the Atlanta 7s in the United States.

Bulikiobo played for the Striders team who defended their women’s Fiji Bitter Marist 7s title last weekend.

While she is happy to be back in the squad, the early morning call that delivered the news about her selection was something she was not expecting.

But like any other player who has worn the national jersey, there are certain sacrifices that need to be made.

“It has been awhile since I’ve trained again with the Fijiana team and it feels good to be back and to be given the opportunity to try and prove myself,” Bulikiobo said.

“I am glad I made it through to the Marist 7s, I was carrying an injury but the last couple of days I have managed to recover from that.

“I just played my best during the Marist 7s. I could without even thinking about being picked, so I was surprised when I got the call.

“I was still sleeping when I got the call to come to training.  I didn’t even have breakfast. I just put on my gym gear and came.

“But that is the sacrifice that you have to make if you want to join the national squad. The task is hard but I am glad to be given this opportunity to join the squad.”

Not only does Bulikiobo bring experience into the squad, she also brings in the physical aspect of the game which is sure to be an advantage for the side who is aiming to keep their fourth place on the series standings.

“I am a team player and I want to help the team perform and maintain fourth spot or even get better at the end of the season so that we can qualify for the next year’s  Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco.”

Bulikiobo said she has seen a major change in the team compared to when she was part of the squad two years ago.

“Compared to when I was in the team in 2015 we really lacked fitness but the girls now are doing really well.

Meanwhile, Coach IliesaTanivula said Bulikiobo would be a huge plus for the team if they can get her at the right level of fitness.

“She has been here before but she travelled overseas last year and is back and she is doing well, she played well in the Marist 7s and that is why she is here,” Tanivula said.

“Her physicality and size could be an advantage for her. Once we get her fit and going I think her presence in the squad will be huge.”



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