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TALENT SEARCH

A former Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach calls for frequent rugby competition in the Oceania region to expose many of the hidden talents The man who coached the Fiji
12 Dec 2017 11:00
TALENT SEARCH
From left: Former Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach and Solomon Islands rugby coach Ilivasi Tabua with Team Fiji men’s rugby 7s coach Saiasi Fuli at the Korman Sporting Complex in Port Vila, Vanuatu on December 10, 2017. Photo : Peni Komaisavai

A former Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach calls for frequent rugby competition in the Oceania region to expose many of the hidden talents

The man who coached the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians to the quarterfinals of the 2007 Rugby World Cup believes there is a great need to expose the abundance of talents in the Oceanic region.

Speaking to SUNsports in Port Vila, Vanuatu, Ilivasi Tabua said there is a need for frequent rugby competitions to help expose the players.

“This is the only way to encourage growth in development, game level and experience,” the former Australian Wallabies flanker said.

“If given these opportunities then I assure you Oceanic countries will be a force to be reckoned with in the game of sevens rugby on the world stage.”

Tabua who was dubbed ‘The Human Skewer’ for his bonecrushing tackles during his Wallaby days said there are a lot of talents spread out in the Oceanic region but developing and nurturing their skills was something that needed to be considered.

“We can even have rugby competitions between neighbouring countries like Nauru, Vanuatu, Tonga, Tuvalu Solomon Islands, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. This is where teams can just travel to their neighbours and play there.”

Tabua said he’s mindful of the fact that one factor that always hindered the development of sports in the Oceanic region was the financial aspects of the game.

“But I firmly believe there is a way to go about it if we really want to make it happen.”

Tabua was at Pacific Mini Games coaching the Solomon Islands 7s team that lost 24-19 to Tonga.

 

BACKGROUND

Ilivasi Tabua represented Fiji and Australia on the international rugby stage. He stepped in to coach the Flying Fijians after Wayne Pivac resigned in 2007.

He took the Flying Fijians to the Rugby World Cup in France where they beat Japan 35-31, Canada 29-16 and Wales 38-34 to qualify as the second best team from the pool.

They played 2007 RWC eventual winners South Africa in the quarterfinals but lost 37-20 but this after they fought back from a 20-3 deficit to hold the Springboks 20-20 midway in the second half.  – Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  peni.komaisavai@fijisun.com.fj




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