SPORTS

Hamilton Sevens: Why I Chose Meli And Jerry As Co-captains, Fiji Sevens Coach, Gareth Baber, Reveals

Rookie forward Meli Derenalagi has been given the co-captains role for the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team for the Hamilton and Sydney 7s tournaments. This was revealed by head coach
18 Jan 2020 10:15
Hamilton Sevens: Why I Chose Meli And Jerry As Co-captains, Fiji Sevens Coach, Gareth Baber, Reveals
Fiji 7s Co-captains, Jerry Tuwai and Meli Derenalagi

Rookie forward Meli Derenalagi has been given the co-captains role for the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team for the Hamilton and Sydney 7s tournaments.

This was revealed by head coach Gareth Baber when he announced his 13-member squad yesterday and the other co-captain is World Sevens Player of the Year Seremaia (Jerry) Tuwai.

Derenalagi and Tuwai’s appointment came after captain Paula Dranisinukula had to be sidelined because of a hand injury.

“Tuwai is a natural leader and Derenalagi did captain the side in the last leg so I have faith in those two men to lead the group on this tour,” Baber said.

The Welshman said the tightly knit group are rearing to hit the field after an extensive five-week training block where they were pushed to their limits.

“These players have responded very well during the past few weeks of training, we’ve thrown some solid sessions at them and ultimately now we need to move ahead,” he said.

Veteran playmaker Livai Ikanikoda returns to the team for his first tour of the season and will bring his signature strength and leadership to the side. Fiesty and dynamic Asaeli Tuivuaka has also earned his re-selection and is expected to bring more physicality and power into the team.

“Livai is a great player and has shown a lot of commitment in training plus Tuivuaka has improved his game and has shown he is really up for a spot in this team.”

In the forwards, Kavekini Tabu who made his debut in Dubai retains his position and will feature in his first Hamilton 7s tournament next weekend, with Baber expecting big shifts from Sevu Mocenacagi, Josua Vakurunabili, and Apenisa Cakaubalavu.

Baber has left no stone unturned in this preparation phase and is ready for a tough tournament next weekend.

“The players understand what they need to do and how hard they have to work on the field. Discipline is one of the other areas we have been focusing on, with changing habits and behaviors which have existed for a long period of time.

”We have kept concentrating on that constantly in the training sessions and feel ready to put out a worthy performance in these next two legs.”

The Hamilton 7s will run from January 25-26 at the FMG Stadium where the Fijians are pooled with Argentina, Australia and Samoa.

They meet Samoa in their opening match at 12.47pm next Saturday then face Australia at 6.35pm and battles Argentina at 11.57am on Sunday.

Squad– Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Josua Vakurunabili, Asaeli Tuivuaka, Kavekini Tabu, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Meli Derenalagi, Vilimoni Botitu, Waisea Nacuqu, Jerry Tuwai, Alasio Naduva, Aminiasi Tuimaba, Napolioni Ratu, Livai Ikanikoda

Edited by Sheldon Chanel

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper