BAI Takes On Challenge

Former Flying Fijians star utility back, Seremaia Bai, is keen to take on his role as the Flying Fijians assistant coach for July Test matches followed by the Rugby World Cup, which is on September 8 to October 28 in France. 
15 May 2023 18:00
BAI Takes On Challenge
French Top 14 Castres Olympique with Fijian players Josua Raisuqe (front), Vilimoni Botitu (sitting, left), Leone Nakarawa (sitting, third from left) and Adrea Cocagi (fourth row, third from left) after their 16-13 win over Brive on May 13, 2023. Flying Fijians assistant coach Seremaia Bai played 93 matches for Castres. Photo: Castres Rugby

Former Flying Fijians star utility back, Seremaia Bai, is keen to take on his role as the Flying Fijians assistant coach for July Test matches followed by the Rugby World Cup, which is on September 8 to October 28 in France.

“It’s been great communicating with other coaches and looking forward to the busiest and toughest month to select players heading towards the World Cup,” Bai said.

“This is especially with the amount of talents we have and it’s going to be one hell of a team going to the World Cup.”

Last Saturday, Castres moved Vilimoni Botitu to man the No.10 spot in their 16-13 win over Brive in the Top 14 match.

Botitu will provide tough competition for the first five- eighth position with the likes of Teti Tela, Kemu Valetini, Caleb Muntz and veteran Ben Volavola.

“I think that’s the great thing about adding the (Fijian) Drua as we managed to bridge the gap between the Skipper Cup and Test level. So now we have depth in that area.

“Right now, we’re in a good spot with the boys that we have and those who are playing in Europe at the moment.”

Bai is impressed with Valetini’s composure in taking crucial conversions against top Super Rugby teams like Crusaders and Hurricanes.

“It just shows the character of the person and his self confidence in executing his kicks.

“He has done his homework and proved himself come the crucial moment as he stayed cool under pressure. It’s great to see such Fijians who can kick in Super Rugby.”

Bai played at second five- eighth and shared the kicking responsibility with first five eight Nicky Little at the 2007 Rugby World Cup where they reached the quarterfinal after beating Wales 38-34.

“Any team when you prepare, you always go for a win as you don’t go to lose a game.

“Just like any other Flying Fijians team, you always going in there to do your best and treat each game as a final.” he added.

Meanwhile, our Europe-based players have showed that they are serious contenders for spots in the Flying Fijians squad.

At the French Top 14 championship, strong running openside flanker, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, put on a strong performance for Montpellier as they upset La Rochelle 42-31 last Saturday.

Levani Botia started off the bench for La Rochelle but was moved back to centre.

Winger Vinaya ‘Bossman’ Habosi and No.8 Kitione Kamikamica continued on with their try scoring spree for Racing 92 as they thrashed Toulon 43-7.

Kamikamica scored the first try in the 7th minute before Habosi dotted down his in the 56th minute. Toulon rested Jiuta Wainiqolo and Waisea Nayacalevu.

It was a winning start for Botitu when he played at No.10 for Castres. Botitu combined well with second five-eighth Adrea Cocagi while much-improved Josua Raisuqe played well at the wing. Veteran lock Leone Nakarawa came in as a substitute.

For Brive, Seta Tuicuvu was at centre, Seta Bituniyata was on the wing while Mesulame Kunavula came in as a replacement.

Fiery flanker Peceli Yato copped a yellow card as Clermont suffered a 21-18 loss to Sireli Maqala’s Bayonne. Eddie Sawailau was on the wing for USA Perpignan when they upset Toulouse 26-21.

Pau with veteran Jale Vatubua at second five-eighth and lock Lekima Tagitagivalu was beaten 28-0 by Bordeaux.

Across to England, loosehead prop Eroni Mawi played for Saracens as they beat Northampton Saints 38-15 in the Gallagher Premiership semifinal.

This will be Saracens’ seventh Premiership final in the last 10 years.

Story By: Ioane Asioli


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