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Seruvakula Outlines Plans For Our Fijiana Xvs

Plans are in the pipeline for the Fijiana 15s to play a Test match against Australian Wallaroos a month before the kick­off of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in September, next year.
31 Oct 2021 11:50
Seruvakula Outlines Plans For Our Fijiana Xvs
Centre Picture: Fijiana 15s extended squad member Akanisi Sokoiwasa goes through her obstacle as part of their training at the Naboro Prison compound outside Lami on October 29, 2021. This is part of their training for next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Photo: Pita Simpson Top Right Picture: Fijiana XVs squad member, Younis Bese, training at Bidesi Park on October 29, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord Bottom Left Picture: Fijiana XVs squad member Sereana Nagatalevu during the Fijiana obstacle training at Naboro Prison compound on October 28, 2021 . Photo: Pita Simpson

Plans are in the pipeline for the Fijiana 15s to play a Test match against Australian Wallaroos a month before the kick­off of the Women’s Rugby World Cup in September, next year.

This was revealed by head coach Senirusi Seruvakula yesterday in­dicating that the Test was to give the women teams more game time and exposure for local-based play­ers.

He said this would be an added ad­vantage for our women especially when the Fijiana Drua are close to securing a spot in next year’s Super Women’s (Super W) rugby.

“We’re waiting for the confirma­tion for our inclusion to the Super W, if that happens then we will be flying out around February,” he said.

“There are talks on confirming a Test match against the Wallaroos, so straight after the Super W, we will have the majority of our girls in the team.”

With 30 local-based players in the squad, Seruvakula is looking at more than 25 overseas based play­ers who will join them in Novem­ber, while a few will come after New Year.

The local players are a good mix of senior and youngsters which in­cludes former United States- based sprinter, Younis Bese.

The senior players include Sere­ima Leweniqila, Sereana Nagata­levu, Laisa Taga and Rusila Tamoi.

His final 30-member squad is ex­pected to be named in November.

Team bonding

Seruvakula has been conducting obstacle trainings in the past weeks with the mud run at Togalevu Na­val base and other intensive train­ing drills at Naboro Prison com­pound.

“We’ve been doing bonding train­ing, focusing on team work, bring ingthe girls together to work to­gether as a team. It’s new to the girls. We were in Naboro, training on the various obstacles, and its big learning for them as we are prepar­ing for the World Cup. To get these girls into the world stage is not easy. We need to go through those obsta­cles for them to be selected into the team. There have been a good response from the girls, improve­ments, some of them their fitness have been improving, that has been a good sign for us from last week and this week.”

Perform

Seruvakula said the players in the squad need to per­form to be selected.

“These are the best local girls, but they are not guar­anteed a place in the team. For next week some of these girls are going to be dropped and there is another extend­ed squad that has been training on the outside. Some of them will be called up for next week.

“The overseas girls who are play­ing in the high level of rugby com­petitions will start to come in No­vember and our local girls need to step-up because they have not been playing. The overseas girls have been playing at the moment espe­cially in New Zealand, Japan and England.

“There are more than 25 players, many are still interested to come, it is a good sign that they want to be part the Fijiana, first time going into the World Cup. We will pick the best, not just to make numbers. We want to put a mark and to go there and compete well. A lot of our girls are playing in the Super W, when they finish that they will start flying in.”

Pool

The Fijiana side are pooled with England, South Africa and France at the Women’s World Cup.

“All these three teams have been playing. England is playing the Black Ferns probably this week. It’s not going to be easy,” Seruvakula said.

“We have to be ready mentally, physically. We have to change the mind of these girls. All their lives they have been playing local rugby, and it will be new to them and the environment.

“The more we bring them to the professional environment and teach them the right way to go, there is nothing impossible. They have shown in the couple of weeks they can do anything out there. The training squad has been having scrimmage sessions with the elite player’s academy.



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