SPORTS

7s Coach Tells Of Selection Criteria

Conditioning, players input and expe­rience are elements Fiji Airways Fi­jian 7s head coach Gareth Baber had based his selection on for the 13-member squad. Baber revealed this to SUNsports after
19 Jan 2019 11:00
7s Coach Tells Of Selection Criteria
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s forward Paula Dranisinukula fires out a pass with Terio Tamani and Mesulame Kunavula in support during their final training run at Albert Park, Suva on January 18, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Conditioning, players input and expe­rience are elements Fiji Airways Fi­jian 7s head coach Gareth Baber had based his selection on for the 13-member squad.

Baber revealed this to SUNsports after their final training run at Albert Park, Suva yesterday. morning.

“Conditioning element leads to the efforts players put in the field,” he said.

“You also need leadership when you go to places like Australia and New Zealand to play rugby.

“Overall it’s what players put in the team and there is where you need experience. We’ve got a good balance of it in the group.”

Fighting their way back into the Hamil­ton and Sydney tournament team are expe­rienced forwards Paula Dranisinukula and Josua Vakurinabili.

“I never ruled Paula out and he’s always in contention. He would never be in this group if he wasn’t in contention.

“He pushed himself all the way as he is an honest and genuine gentleman.”

Baber said Dranisinukula put his hand up and worked hard to get exactly where he needs to be as he knows the standards.

“We had several conversations with the group and him and the leadership team as well so everybody knows exactly where they are.”

Utility player Kalione Nasoko continues to captain the team to both tournaments while Tabadamu playmaker Terio Tamani got in and combines with veteran halfback Seremaia Tuwai and Waisea Nacuqu.

Retaining their spots are Mesulame Ku­navula, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Alasio Naduva, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Amini­asi Tuimaba, Fijian Under-20 forward Meli Derenalagi and rover Filimoni Botitu.

Rookie halfback Napolioni Ratu is on standby. Dropped from the winning team at the Cape Town 7s are Vatemo Ravouvou, Amenoni Nasilasila and Beniamino Vota.

Baber said they are taking 13 players for the two tournaments.

“That is the beauty of being close to New Zealand and Australia, if there is a neces­sity to bring in a player due to injuries we can quickly do that.”

Squad: Kalione Nasoko (captain), Paula Dranisinukula, Josua Vakurinabili, Mesu­lame Kunavula, Meli Derenalagi, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Ser­emaia Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu, Terio Tam­ani, Filimoni Botitu, Aminiasi Tuimaba, Alasio Naduva. Standby: Napolioni Ratu.

Edited by Osea Bola

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