Rugby | SPORTS

We’re After Fijian 7s Magic: Umeda

The Japan men’s rugby 7s team is ready to play in this weekend’s Duavata Sevens tournament at the Ra Sports Com­plex in Rakiraki.
10 Aug 2022 14:34
We’re After Fijian 7s Magic: Umeda
Japan rugby 7s team at the Nadi International School ground on August 9, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Japan men’s rugby 7s team is ready to play in this weekend’s Duavata Sevens tournament at the Ra Sports Com­plex in Rakiraki.

The Koichi Umeda-coached side arrived on Sunday and had a train­ing session at the Nadi Internation­al School ground yesterday.

The Japanese are preparing for the USA Sevens in Los Angeles on August 27-28 to improve on their standings.

At the USA 7s, Japan is in Pool A with Australia, Spain and Argen­tina.

Umeda told SUNsports they were at the 16th spot, with 26 points.

“We are unfortunately not joining the world cup this season,” he said.

“Back at home we didn’t have the luxury to have game time. Most of these players are young and we need them to have some game time. The tournament this weekend will allow us to give these young players a chance to play.”

He said coming to play here meant a lot since Fiji was the best country to play sevens rugby.

“The Fiji team is magical. We don’t have that experience in Ja­pan,” he said.

“We want to come here and learn from these players, so we want to have that kind of magic in Fiji.”

Fijian-born Japan sevens forward Kameli Soejima said they were here to play with the best.

“You have to be the best here to play against the best because Fiji is known for being the best in the world of sevens rugby,” he said.

“Our goal is still the same. We were right at the bottom so prepa­ration was really hard back home because we have to be in the top eight in order to stay in the series.

“They changed the laws but we are still in the series but that doesn’t change the goal and the aim, we came here to prepare and take back with us what we learnt here in Fiji.

“There are a lot of new boys and hopefully they will be able to step up come the next series so since this is my last one,” the veteran for­ward.

Feedbacks: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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