SPORTS

Latui Reps Hit The Sand Dunes

The no-nonsense coach had highlighted that fitness is one area he’s going to focus on before their Global Rapid Rugby campaign against China Lions on March 15 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.
22 Feb 2020 17:04
Latui Reps Hit The Sand Dunes
Fijian Latui veteran No.8 Eremasi Radrodro (second from left) leads the charge during their training run at the Sigatoka sand dunes in Kulukulu, Nadroga on February 21, 2020. Photo: FRU Media

Fiji Latui head coach Senirusi Seruvakula stuck to his word as he took the players to the Sigatoka sand dunes yesterday morning.

The no-nonsense coach had highlighted that fitness is one area he’s going to focus on before their Global Rapid Rugby campaign against China Lions on March 15 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

“Work on the fitness and the clarity of rugby so that the players understand how the system works,” Seruvakula said as there are a lot of new faces in the team.

“We’ve to be very patient with these boys. How we play the GRR format since it is a fast-paced game.

“Totally a different team this year with many young players. It is the pathway to prepare them for the Fijian Drua and Flying Fijians.”

He said this is also a bigger learning for the players in terms of travelling.

“There are 10 games to play and a final. With the Fijian Drua we travelled to Australia, with the GRR we will be going to more countries like Malaysia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.

“That is why we’ve a lot in the extended squad as we’ll have a lot of challenges and injuries along the way. We need to have players who need to understand who came in and nothing is new to them. They can really adjust well.”

The Bay of Plenty Rugby Union, the current Mitre 10 Cup Championship winners have teamed up with the China Rugby Football Association to form the China Lions – the final team in the inaugural home-and-away Global Rapid Rugby competition.

The Lions are the sixth team to be announced as part of Global Rapid Rugby’s Season One which kicks off on March 13, joining Australia’s Western Force, the Malaysia Valke (representing both Malaysia and South Africa), Fijian Latui, Manuma Samoa and the Hong Kong based South China Tigers.

Fijian Latui first five eight Caleb Muntz takes a drink during their training session at the Sigatoka sand dunes in Kulukulu, Nadroga on February 21, 2020. Photo: FRU Media

Fijian Latui first five eight Caleb Muntz takes a drink during their training session at the Sigatoka sand dunes in Kulukulu, Nadroga on February 21, 2020. Photo: FRU Media

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers said the idea was for the China Lions to be made up of a combination of Chinese players and, not just Bay of Plenty players but players from any New Zealand region.

“Certainly we’re anticipating Bay of Plenty players will be involved in the team along with Chinese players but part of our motivation is to provide an opportunity for any New Zealand based rugby players to be involved in Rapid Rugby as a new professional opportunity.

“I think for our union, any time we can provide a new opportunity for players to be in an environment where they’re being paid to play is great. Obviously, there’s five Super Rugby clubs and there’s not always an opportunity for our players.

“Having an environment like this we think will help grow players and hopefully it means they’ll get more opportunities to participate in Super Rugby.”

Rogers said keeping players in New Zealand was crucial to the growth of the sport

“It’s very important to retain our players and there’s a lot happening in the international market place with new competitions in places like America and Japan so there’s more and more competition for players to look to move overseas.

“We’re hopeful that something like this initiative will hopefully encourage our players to stay in New Zealand. It’s not just our players either, it’s important for us to provide the best opportunities we can for all our staff and coaches.”

All set to go... Fijian Latui winger Avete Daveta during training at the Sigatoka sand dunes in Kulukulu, Nadroga on February 21, 2020. Photo: FRU Media

All set to go… Fijian Latui winger Avete Daveta during training at the Sigatoka sand dunes in Kulukulu, Nadroga on February 21, 2020. Photo: FRU Media

Edited by Osea Bola

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