Bobo: We Need ‘X-factor’ Wingers

Ex-7s star picks Aminiasi Tuimaba for Tokyo Olympics but search must continue for suitable replacements. 
08 Feb 2021 12:34
Bobo: We Need ‘X-factor’ Wingers
Former national 7s star winger, Sireli Bobo, during the Mobil Uprising Sevens tournament at Pacific Harbour, Deuba, on February 6, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord


We need wingers with very special qualities if we are to retain the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.

That was the view of former Flying Fijians star winger and Sevens Rugby World Cup winner, Sireli Bobo.

“We need wingers who have this x-factor in them,” Bobo said during the Mobil Uprising Sevens tournament over the weekend.

He said apart from speed, these wingers must have the ability to create something out of nothing.

“Aminiasi Tuimaba is my pick for the Olympics but there must be one or two similar type of wingers to have as back-up.”

Bobo who coached Veiyasana Providers said even none of the wingers in the current Fijian sevens squad has shown what he is looking for.


Lightning speed

However, Bobo said from attending tournaments around the country, he was impressed with the quality showed by 20-year-old winger Ifireimi Tovilevu of Ratu Filise and Yamacia’s speedster Rokoua Rasaku.

“I’ve been watching a few clips on their off the mark technique and it’s impressive. I don’t see any of the wingers in the country having that.

“A good winger gets off the mark with lighting speed and when he gets the ball, his away in the blink on an eye.

“When you have a wing with that craft and to mould them in the right environment with a good team, he will excel.

“These wingers are playing in average teams but imagine giving them the opportunity to play for Tabadamu, Police or Army. We have very good wingers in Fiji, it’s just that they are not identified.”


Lack of confidence

Bobo said most of the wingers he had watched in recent tournaments don’t have the confidence to run around their opponents.

“They run, stop, look around and then are tackled where they lose possession and territory. Majority of the time they can’t create a gap for their support players but instead run straight at the defence.”

Bobo has urged the national sevens selectors to scout some smaller sevens tournaments around the country to identify these raw talents.

“When we look at our sevens history we didn’t get this x-factor wingers from big tournaments. Back in those days majority of the wingers were identified and selected from small sevens competitions in the villages and smaller communities.

“A lot of potential wingers are at the grassroots level so I urge the selectors to attend these smaller tournaments.”


Way to glory

Bobo said he was first identified while playing at the Waqavesi Sevens tournament in Ra.

“It was in 1997 and I was playing for my village team Mataravua. We defeated the Fiji 7s team that was preparing for the Dubai 7s tournament.

“The following year, national sevens coach Rupeni Ravonu selected Filimoni Delasau from a village team playing in a community tournament.”

Bobo said seasoned players mostly play in bigger tournaments.

“There are a lot of x-factor wingers out in the rural tournaments. These are raw talents who are brought to the big teams where they are developed. This what happened to (Rupeni) Caucau who was first spotted playing for Bua in the Island Zone and also Marika Vunibaka was discovered in an almost similar way as well.”

Bobo said with the Tokyo Olympics set for July 23, the wingers in the Fijian 7s training squad needed to work hard on their speed and also increase their knowledge on how to play in the position.



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