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Drua New Blood

Not being selected in the New Zealand 7s team for the Rugby World Cup Sevens was a blessing in disguise, says Sawailau Not being selected in the New Zealand team
19 Aug 2018 10:08
Drua New Blood
Fiji Airways Drua member Jona Sawailau during training at the sand dunes in Sigatoka on August 18,2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Not being selected in the New Zealand 7s team for the Rugby World Cup Sevens was a blessing in disguise, says Sawailau

Not being selected in the New Zealand team for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens last month was a blessing in disguise for Fiji Airways Drua squad member Jona Sawailau.

After playing for three years in New Zealand, the Naua, Namuka, Macuata native who has maternal links to Naviyago in Lautoka, was drafted by coach Clark Laidlaw in the extended squad

“I think it has been a blessing in disguise not being selected as I’ve always wanted to play for Fiji. And to get this opportunity to be named in the Fiji Airways Drua extended squad is a blessing,” he said.

“It’s a privilege to go through the system with senior players and young bloods and I’m enjoying and learning from the experience.”

A utility backline player for Lautoka, Sawailau and Tailevu centre Poasa Waqanibau are the two players selected from the Vodafone Vanua Championship.

“I was not really into joining the Drua but I was more focussed playing for Lautoka. I did not expect to be selected and now I’m honoured to be in the Drua squad.”

Sawailau was born in Campbelltown, Sydney, Australia before he moved back to Fiji where he attended Drasa Secondary School, Ratu Kadavulevu School and Ba Methodist High School.

He has a sister and four brothers with the youngest, Edward Sawailau playing for Top 14 France club Perpignan with Eroni Sau who made his mark for the Drua last season.

His uncle is Joe Sawailau, a former manager of the Fijian national 7s team.

Fiji Airways Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula said having players like Sawailau would provide competition.

“Not only was in the New Zealand 7s extended squad but he stood out for Lautoka in the Vodafone Vanua Championship.

“Like Waqanibau, he was consistent in the Vanua champs and they deserved to be in the Drua squad.”

Sawailau aims to make his debut against Melbourne Rising in the opening fixture of the National Rugby Championship at the Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori on September 1.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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