Fiji names strong squads for Oceania Rugby Sevens and Japan Oita 7s invitational
Fiji Squad runs in the pitch during their Pool A match between Fiji and New Zealand as part of the HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2018 on April 7, 2018 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images for HSBC)

With only a few weeks to go before the start of the 2018/19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, sees last season’s men’s runners-up Fiji names strong squads for the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships.

That will be the perfect warm up to the new season, with fellow Sevens Series giants Australia, New Zealand and Samoa also in action. And across the Pacific, development sides will boost the Fiji games profile, ahead of the peak-season for rugby sevens at home, and offshore.

Fiji will defend their Oceania title with Kalione Nasoko leading the team as captain. It will be a mix of the new and senior players, and proof that Fiji names strong squads are in the naming of World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year nominee, and national Sevens captain Jerry Tuwai, along with fellow Olympian Vatemo Ravouvou.

Missing, however, will be Amenoni Nasilasila and Paula Dranisinukula. Injury ruling them out now, and their availability will be judged prior to the full HSBC squad naming [tbc].

The 2018 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships will be the eleventh edition of the Men’s event, the sixth edition of the Women’s event and the fourth time the two events have been combined.

November 9-10, Suva, Fiji

Women name squad to compete at Oceania Sevens

Meanwhile, Fijiana Sevens all-time Women’s World Series top try-scorer Asinate Savu, has been roped in to spearhead the host’s campaign.

Team Fiji gather together before the match between The United States Of America and Fiji at the HSBC Paris Sevens, stage of the Rugby Sevens World Series at Stade Jean Bouin on June 10, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images for HSBC)

After their dismal performance in the opening round of the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series in Glendale, Colorado – including their worst ever defeat to Ireland – the team needs to get back in rhythm. The team dynamic is natural, but combinations do have to rise to new levels, and the large crowd support will mean the women will compete fiercely against all teams….especially the New Zealand 7s [development squad].

With NZ and Pacific neighbour Australia have named development sides for the tournament, Fijiana could turn the tables against their fellow Sevens Series regulars, if they qualify for the knockout rounds and taken their opportunities.

Fiji names strong squads for Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships

Both men and women will be out to show their quality. Even while every squad member deserves as many minutes as possible, both men’s coach and women’s head coach Alivereti Doviverata.

Fiji Airways Mens 7s

  • Kalione Nasoko ©
  • Josua Vakurunabili
  • Apenisa Cakaubalavu
  • Beniamino Vota
  • Sevuloni Mocenacagi
  • Waisea Nacuqu
  • Jerry Tuwai
  • Napoliani Ratu
  • Ilikena Vuduolo
  • Filimoni Botitu
  • Alasio Naduva
  • Batinisavu Uluiyata
  • Vatemo Ravouvou

Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s

  • Litia Naiqato
  • Vasiti Solikoviti
  • Asinate Savu
  • Ema Adi Vataloga
  • Naina Baleca
  • Sereana Nagatalevu
  • Mereula Toroti
  • Merewalesi Rokovono
  • Litiana Lawedrau
  • Luisa Tisolo
  • Ana Maria Naimasi
  • Roela Radiniyavuni
  • Note: the team captain is still to be names, at time of publishing

Click here for Oceania Rugby Sevens Tournament schedule.

Fiji ‘development sides’ to feature at the Japan Invitational

A Fiji men’s and Fijiana women’s development sides will feature at the Oita 7s in Japan this weekend, coinciding with the Oceania Sevens in Fiji.

This is an example of the depth of the sport, and demonstrates the combined investment into the game by the Fiji Sports Council. The government-backed agency supports a number of sports, with the most popular and successful being, the Game of Sevens.

Sending squads to the Oita 7s will be a great opportunity for new and upcoming players to get a taste of international Sevens. Both teams will be looking for new talents to add depth to the senior squads for the HSBC Sevens Series.

Men’s and women’s squads for Oita 7s tournament in Japan have been named, for the two-day event that begins on Friday, November 9.

Fiji Men’s 7s development squad;

  • Glen Cakautini
  • Terio Veilawa
  • Vereniki Tikoisolomoni
  • Elia Canakaivata
  • Ilaisa Kalokalodrau Io
  • Ratu Meli Derenalagi
  • Aminiasi Tuimaba
  • Menausi Kaukitoga
  • Luke Lutunavanua
  • Isoa Tabu
  • Suliano Volivolituevei
  • Uliano Cokanauto
  • Vilimoni Gadolo

Fijiana Development 7s

  • Vilisi Vakaloloma
  • Salaima Natuna
  • Melaia Matanatabu
  • Paulini Korowaqa
  • Alisi Komaitai
  • Elenoa Naimata
  • Joma Serailisoni
  • Akosita Ravato
  • Raijieli Tale
  • Sisilia Namatasere
  • Wainikiti Deku
  • Alisi Diulu

With players representing the South Seas nation, it shows that the sport is in focus. While Fiji names strong squads to play in front of their home fans, the sport has a twin-focus at present; the all important 2018/19 HSBC Sevens Series, and the future of the game.

If Fiji can show ‘development’ in both areas, then this season will bring a smile to the nation who embrace the game the strongest anywhere in the rugby world.

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Follow your Rugby Sevens guru Jovilisi Waqa, as he covers every step of the men’s and women’s World Rugby Sevens Series, as well as coverage of the game in the Pacific.

 

“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images

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