Rugby | Super Rugby

7s Touch Boosts Drua

The Drua play warm-up matches against Western Force and Melbourne Rebels on January 28 and February 10 re­spectively.
25 Jan 2022 02:02
7s Touch Boosts Drua
Former Fijian 7s captain Kalione Nasoko during training with the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua for the February 18 Super Rugby Pacific opener against NSW Waratahs. Photo: Kev Nagle Photography

Former Fijian 7s players play a key role in the prepara­tions of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua side towards their Super Rugby Pacific opener against the NSW Waratahs on February 18 in Sydney, Australia.

This was revealed by Drua head coach, Mick Byrne when asked on how the sevens’ players were adapting to the fif­teens code.

The players are Drua captain, Nemani Nagusa, Meli Der­enalagi, Kalione Nasoko, Napolioni Bolaca and Kitione Ta­liga.

These players were once regular starters for Fiji at the highly competitive HSBC World Sevens Series before they moved to fifteens.

Derenalagi, Bolaca and Nasoko played at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where they won the gold medal while Ta­liga played in the gold medal winning team of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

“All our seven’s players have adapted very well,” Byrne told SUNsports.

“They are putting some good weight on through their gym work and falling into our systems very well. They are pro­viding good leadership on the field as they have experience on the bigger stages of the game.”

Byrne said veteran No.8 Nagusa and prop Manasa Saulo have been leading from the front.

“Their experience is invaluable for passing on knowledge to our younger players,” the wily coach said.

“They are both working extremely hard and maintaining great progress. As always, the older you get the smarter you become, and these guys are getting through training well and providing great on-field leadership.”

Work on our No.10

Byrne, the former All Blacks skills coach said, work is still in progress when it comes to determining the right player to dictate all the moves from first five eight.

In camp are Teti Tela, Bolaca, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, Bayden Kerr, Caleb Muntz, Alivereti Veitokani and Taliga.

“All our possible 10s (first five-eighths) bring varying strengths to their game,” he said.

“Allowing them to play to their strengths is key. Developing their ability to contribute to all three aspects of the game in attack, running passing and kicking is paramount.

“They are all exciting players and (except for Tela) who is still recovering from Achilles surgery.

“These players light up the training field with their many touches.

“Progressing the many facets of the first five eight role is a career in itself.

“These guys are all showing their willingness to develop their triple threat game and are providing the team with good on-field direction and leadership.”

The Drua play warm-up matches against Western Force and Melbourne Rebels on January 28 and February 10 re­spectively.

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