Fiji 7s Stars, Vilimoni Botitu And Aminiasi Tuimaba, Heading To France

French clubs request Fiji Rugby Union for Botitu and Tuimaba’s release for 2020/21 season
14 May 2020 15:09
Fiji 7s Stars, Vilimoni Botitu And Aminiasi Tuimaba, Heading To France
Fiji Aiirways sevens players Vilimoni Botitu (left) and robust winger Aminiasi Tuimaba. The duo have signed up with French clubs, Castres and Pau respectively. Photos: World Rugby

Two key members of the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team,  Vilimoni Botitu and Aminiasi Tuimaba, could be joining their clubs as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.

This was confirmed to SUNsports yesterday by Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor.

“We’ve received requests from two French clubs for the release of the players,” O’Connor said.

Tuimaba had signed up for Pau for the 2020/ 2021 season while Botitu is to play for Castres.

O’Connor said they were negotiating with the clubs on certain issues and one of them was the release of the players when needed for national sevens duties.

The players had signed with the clubs before the Tokyo Olympic Games was moved from July 24 to August 9, 2020 to July 23 to August 8, 2021.

The deferment was because of the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

O’Connor said Botitu and Tuimaba were still part of the national sevens training squad and could play in one of the remaining tournaments of the World Sevens Series until the clubs want them to fly over.

“At the moment we are still waiting for the travel restrictions to be lifted,” he added.

Joining Botitu in Castres is former Fijian rugby league convert Adrea Cocagi who moves in from Perpignan while in Pau, Tuimaba teams up with Flying Fijians centre Jale Vatubua, Watisoni Votu and Lekima Tagitagivalu. Also, Fijian-born New Zealand 7s winger Joe Ravouvou is joining Bayonne while Fiji Airways tighthead prop Peni Ravai joins Clermont.

Last week, 7s head coach Gareth Baber had called in upcoming wingers Jiuta Wainiqolo, Epeli Momo, Kaminieli Rasaku and Netani Natoga to join the training squad.

Edited by Sereana Salalo


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