SPORTS

Fitness 7s Focus

When Fijians are fit, they will always play smart rugby, says a former national 7s rep. Speaking to SUNsports yesterday Penisoni Waki said, the Gareth Baber-coached side should be fit
12 Jan 2019 10:10
Fitness 7s Focus
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s reps (Back left-right) Teri Tamani, Waisea Nacuqu, Alasio Naduva. (Front left-right) Vilimoni Botitu and Apenisa Cakaubalavu after training at the Sigatoka sand dunes on January 11, 2019. Story on page 78. Photo: Alasio Naduva

When Fijians are fit, they will always play smart rugby, says a former national 7s rep.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday Penisoni Waki said, the Gareth Baber-coached side should be fit if they are to defend the Hamilton 7s title on January 26-27 at FMG Sta­dium in Waikato, New Zealand.

“I always stress the importance of fitness since it will carry them through,” Waki who played alongside maestro Waisale Serevi at the 1993 Hong Kong 7s said.

“When Fijians are fit they play smart rugby and exactly do the opposite when they are unfit.

“Secondly, they don’t have to pass the ball right away but rather carry it forward as this will pull the defence and cre­ate gaps. But again we’ve to be fit.”

“Nowadays, there are lot of rucks and this delays the flow of the game. As a former player you need to be a step ahead of the opposition at all times.”

The 53-year-old, who is a former Nadi football and rugby player, is impressed with the composition of the current squad.

“The coach needs to select his first seven players well,” he added.

Meanwhile, Baber took the national 7s training squad to the Sigatoka sand dunes yesterday morning.

He’s expected to soon finalise the final squad for the Hamil­ton and Sydney tournaments.

Baber is believed to go for rookie playmakers Teri Tamani and Napolioni Ratu. This was after Amenoni Nasilasila has been ruled out along with forward Paula Dranisinukula while a cloud of uncertainty surrounds Olympian Vatemo Ravouvou, who is yet to join camp.

The Welshman has been working on the team’s defence which is boosted with the return of Josua Vakurinabili who is expected to combine well with Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Kalione Nasoko, Sevuloni Mocenacagi and young Meli Der­enalagi.

The Fijians are third on the 2018/19 World Sevens Series standings with 35 points as they trail New Zealand (37) and USA (38).

For Hamilton, they are in Pool A alongside Australia, Ar­gentina and Wales.

– Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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