Fijian 7s Head Coach Gareth Baber has named an experienced and powerful 13 man for the Hamilton 7s in New Zealand on Monday.
The tightly-knit group are raring to hit the field after an extensive five-week training block where they were pushed to their limits.
“These players have responded very well during the past few weeks of training, we’ve thrown some solid sessions at them and ultimately now we need to move ahead” said Baber.
Livai Ikanikoda returns to the team for his first tour of the season and will bring his signature strength and leadership to the side.
Fiesty and dynamic Asaeli Tuivuaka has earnt re-selection and is expected to bring more physicality and power into the Fijian 7s team.
Baber said “Livai is a great player and has shown a lot of commitment in training plus Tuivuaka has improved his game and has shown he is really up for a spot in this team.”
Jerry Tuwai and Meli Derenalagi will share the leadership role in the absence of skipper Pauala Drainisinukula who has been sidelined with a hand injury.
“Tuwai is a natural leader, and Derenalagi did captain the side in the last leg so I have faith in those two men to lead the group on this tour.” he said.
In the forwards, Kavekini Tabu who made his debut in Dubai retains his position and will feature in his first Hamilton 7s tournament next weekend, with Baber expecting big shifts from Sevu Mocenacagi, Josua Vakurunabili and Apenisa Cakaubalavu.
“The players understand what they need to do and how hard they have to work on the field”
“Discipline is one of the other areas we have been focusing on, with changing habits and behaviours which have existed for a long period of time.
We have kept concentrating on that constantly in the training sessions and feel ready to put out a worthy performance in these next two legs.”
The Hamilton 7s will run from the 25th to the 26th January at the FMG Stadium where the Fijian 7s are pooled with Argentina, Australia and Samoa.
Fijian 7s 13-man squad
- Sevuloni Mocenacagi
- Josua Vakurunabili
- Asaeli Tuivuaka
- Kavekini Tabu
- Apenisa Cakaubalavu
- Ratu Meli Derenalagi
- Vilimoni Botitu
- Waisea Nacuqu
- Jerry Tuwai
- Alasio Naduva
- Aminiasi Tuimaba
- Napolioni Ratu
- Livai Ikanikodi
Story Courtesy/Fiji Rugby 7s