SPORTS

Sydney 7s: Baber Brings Back Naduva

Baber said the players regrouped after the Hamilton outing and worked on rectifying a few key areas throughout the week.
01 Feb 2020 14:02
Sydney 7s: Baber Brings Back Naduva
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s winger Alasio Naduva (middle) with Aminiasi Tuimaba and Kavekini Tabu during training. They have made the 12-member squad to play in today’s Sydney Sevens in Australia. Photo: World Rugby

Speedy Alasio Naduva has made it into the 12-member Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team that take on Kenya and series leaders New Zealand in today’s Day 1 of the Sydney Sevens at the Bankwest Stadium in Australia.

Head coach Gareth Baber has instead dropped forward Apenisa Cakaubalavu, who will their 13th man.

“After gauging the performance of the players during their training and game analysis from Hamilton 7s, we have decided to include Naduva and shift Cakaubalavu to 13th player,” he said.

Baber said the players regrouped after the Hamilton outing and worked on rectifying a few key areas throughout the week.

They take on Kenya at 3.09 pm then New Zealand at 9.33 pm before facing Wales at 2.19 pm on Sunday.

New Zealand, who have won two of the three tournaments so far this season, lifted the  Sydney Sevens trophy in 2019.

Head coach Clark Laidlaw has made two changes.

Last weekend’s 13th man Salesi Rayasi is being called into the 12-man squad and Caleb Clarke coming in for his third world series outing as they are without Joe Webber for this tournament.

Co-captain Tim Mikkelson will equal DJ Forbes as the most capped All Blacks Sevens player with this weekend becoming his 89th tournament.

This milestone will also see Mikkelson, alongside England’s Dan Norton become the joint second-most capped players in world series history, four behind interim England Sevens head coach and former player James Rodwell.

The All Blacks Sevens will face Kenya, Wales and Fiji in Pool A with Mikkelson commenting that their clash against Fiji will be an “epic” encounter.

“New Zealand versus Fiji is always a different battle on the sevens pitch,” he said.

“The boys always look forward to playing against Fiji and it’s always an epic battle.

“Obviously they haven’t had great results this year but no doubt whenever they play the black jersey, they get up for it.”

Kenya has made one change bringing Herman Humwa into the side afrer he was 13th man in Hamilton and Fiji also make one change which sees Naduva called up and Cakaubalavu named as the injury replacement.

Wales make two changes calling up James McCarthy for only his second cap and Will Jones will make his world series debut.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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