SPORTS

Simione Haravanua: Rest Meli, Test Depth

2018-19 World Rugby 7s Rookie of the Year Meli Derenalagi is limping time and again during the drills and his knee is heavily strapped.
11 Jan 2020 12:20
Simione Haravanua: Rest Meli, Test Depth
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Meli Derenalagi training at Albert Park, Suva

All coaches want the best at the Hamilton-Sydney cluster of the 2019-20 World Sevens Series later this month,

Likewise, Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber wants to get the campaign on track after flops in Dubai and Cape Town.

But he needs to call a spade a spade and select players on merit based on performance and attitude at training.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case during training at Uprising Beach Resort ground in Pacific Harbour.

Some of the senior players are struggling to keep up during the drills.

With captain Paula Dranisinukula ruled out and Seremaia Tuwai nursing an ankle injury, 2018-19 World Rugby 7s Rookie of the Year Meli Derenalagi is limping time and again during the drills and his knee is heavily strapped.

“Kalione Nasoko and Dranisinukula are now in full training and Tuwai is having a scan in hospital as well,” Baber said.

“There is no major concern for Tuwai. We just want to make sure his ankle is alright,

“Isoa Tabu should be back training in a couple of days after inured in a contact session on Wednesday.”

Derenalagi made his debut during the 2018/2019 World Sevens Series and played 66 matches straight.

The Nawaka, Nadi native was far from his best in the last two tournaments.

Whether it’s fatigue or other reasons, maybe it’s time to give Derenalagi a break in the next two tournaments.

Going forward, the team cannot risk taking injured players.

If we say we have the depth in the team than now is the time to use those players.

Give Derenalagi a rest, let’s make use of the players that we have in our extended squad.

We’ve to take things a step at a time. We need to get the little things right.

The passes, kicks, rucks, tackles, attack, defence and an injury-free team.

If we risk taking Derenalagi to the next two tournaments those basic things could affect his game as he’ll concentrate more on trying to avoid his injury getting worse.

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Meli Derenalagi training at Albert Park, Suva.

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Meli Derenalagi training at Albert Park, Suva.

Now is the time for Baber to learn to trust the players that he has selected in the squad.

Be realistic and give a chance to players who have been consistent in domestic competition and rest Derenalagi for the future tournaments.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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