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Our Picks For London and Paris 7s

The Welshman is likely to retain most of the players that played in Hong Kong and Singapore.
09 May 2019 11:57
Our Picks For London and Paris 7s
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s reps (front from left) Alasio Naduva and Vilimoni Botitu during training on May 8, 2019, at Suva’s Albert Park. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s utility and captain, Kalione Nasoko is not going to be part of the crucial last leg of the 2018/19 World Sevens Series in London and Paris.

But playmaker Waisea Nacuqu could be in if he passes the fitness test.

The core of the team from the last two tournaments is likely to be retained.

The Fiji Sun’s pick for the team that could win the series is: Paula Dranisinukula (C), Josua Vakurinabili, Meli Derenalagi, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Isoa Tabu, Seremaia Tuwai, Livai Ikanikoda, Vilimoni Botitu, Aminiasi Tuimaba, Alasio Naduva, Asaeli Tuivoka, Waisea Nacuqu (pending an injury assessment), Terio Tamani.

Nasoko flew out of the country on Tuesday to his club Edinburgh Rugby in Scotland.

Coach Gareth Baber said: “He wasn’t going to make it in the team as his knees weren’t going to recover.

“So he has the opportunity to go to Europe, see the new employer, get what he needs to get done. We are very proud of what he has achieved and what he will continue to achieve. He was emotional when he came yesterday to say goodbye.”

During training at Albert Park in Suva yesterday, Baber addressed the injury situation in the team.

“The injured players have recovered well. We got a few works to do and we got a few weeks to recover well. Jerry (Tuwai) and Paula (Dranisinukula) have progressed nicely from last week to this week, they have taken part in some of our sessions as well especially in contact areas which is good. “Mesu (Kunavula) has picked up well on his knee.”

The Welshman is likely to retain most of the players that played in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Soldier and robust prop Dranisinukula is going to continue on with the captaincy role. Vakurinabili who is getting back to form is a sure starter with 20-year-old Derenalagi and utility Mocenacagi.

Strong tackling Cakaubalavu and Isoa Tabu should be able to provide the much-needed back-ups.

In the backs, veteran Tuwai is a sure starter at halfback with Ikanikoda, Botitu, Naduva, Tuimaba and blockbusting Tuivoka.

Assessment is expected to be made on Nacuqu who suffered a fractured collarbone during the Sydney 7s in February and was ruled out for three to four months.

The key playmaker has been training hard especially during the contact session to try to win back his spot.

If he gets the nod then young Napolioni Ratu is expected to face the axe. The Fijians are three points behind Series leaders USA.

Wins in the London and Paris tournaments will see them lift the series title.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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