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Sledgehammer Ready To Prove His Worth To Make Fiji Team For Rugby World Cup

Don’t ever let anyone say that your dreams are too big for you. Rugby has made me see the world. I wasn’t part of any Kaji or  Deans Trophy competitions-Eroni Sau
11 Jun 2019 14:48
Sledgehammer Ready To Prove His Worth To Make Fiji Team For Rugby World Cup
Fiji Airways Flying Fijian squad member Eroni Sau (with garland) with fans during the opening of the Kaji competion at Lautoka Central Primary School on June 8, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers.

Eroni ‘The Sledgehammer’ Sau knows he needs to prove his worth to make the cut for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

With the retirement of winger Nemani Nadolo and Timoci Nagusa, the Nabukeru, Yasawa native will need to compete for the wing spots with veterans Vereniki Goneva, Benito Masilevu, Filipo Nakosi, Josua Tuisova, Patrick Osbourne and Waisea Nayacalevu

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee has named Sau in the 38-member training squad which will assembled on July 1 for two games against New Zealand Maori and the Pacific Nations Cup matches against Japan, Canada and Samoa.

Sau has defied the odds by joining the Fiji Airways Fijians 7s team from rugby league. He will team up with Flying Fijian No.8 Viliame Mata at Edinburgh for two years next season after playing for Perpignan RC in France after the 2017-18 World Sevens Series.

No Kaji, No Deans

Sau officiated in the opening of the Lautoka Rugby Kaji competition at the Lautoka Central Primary School and urged the upcoming stars to take up Kaji Rugby seriously.

“Don’t ever let anyone say that your dreams are too big for you. Rugby has made me see the world,” he said.

“I wasn’t part of any Kaji or Deans Trophy competition.

“You are so lucky to be part of the Kaji Rugby so be serious about it.”

His grandfather is almost 90 is his biggest fan.

“I am so blessed that he is still around. I was raised by my grandfather who couldn’t afford to buy me rugby boots so I played barefooted.”

He attended Yasawa High School before he moved to Lautoka to finish his Year 13 at Ba Provincial Freebird Institute where he played rugby league. He joined Saru Dragons and was offered a contract to play in the Cook Islands. Later he was inspired by Lagilagi Golea (FNRL development officer), who urged him to join a 7s team after he was not selected in the Fiji Bati.

Now is the time: McKee

McKee, who returns from New Zealand today, is looking forward to teaming up with the squad.

“Now is the time, with all planning in place, I am really looking forward to getting into camp with the players from July 1. We know we have a lot of work to do between our assembly and travelling to Japan for our first game against Australia in the Rugby World Cup,”he said.

“Players have been slowly filtering back onto the island. I expect by the second week of June all the players will be back.”

McKee has also opened the door for more locals and talented youngsters to be involved, should they impress enough.

“Players can be included at any time based on them showing outstanding form and fitness level.”
Edited by Osea Bola

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