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World rugby 7s Rookie of the Year Eroni Sau misses out on the final 12-member team as Fiji Airways national head coach Gareth Baber selected a power-packed side to feature for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.
Head Coach Gareth Baber has opted for Alosio Naduva to provide the much needed pace to complement the brutal strength of world-class players in Semi Radradra and Josua Tuisova.
Baber has named a well-balanced team of six forwards and six backline boosted with the inclusion of six members of the Rio Olympics gold medalists.
The six golden players are Leone Nakarawa, Jasa Veremalua, Jerry Tuwai, Josua Tuisova, Semi Kunatani and Vatemo Ravouvou.
Baber’s decision to select the final member team was a tough one as all players have been impressive after their 10-days of high altitude training in Utah.
Joining Nakarawa, Veremalua and Kunatani in the forwards are Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Kalione Nasoko and Paula Dranisinukula with Amenoni Nasilasila, Radradra, Ravouvou, Tuwai, Naduva and Tuisova in the backs.
Another notable name missing from the side is tireless forward Josua Vakurunabuli as Baber opted for experience in his quest to lift the Melrose Cup.
Baber has selected the squad he believes will be best suited to the conditions and unique format of the world cup competition.
He praised his squad for their efforts and application to the preparation camp where all players put forward a strong case for selection through their energy, intensity and determination to contribute to the team.
The side will depart Utah for San Francisco from Utah today before commencing their world cup 7s campaign on Friday. Fiji will face the winner of a qualifying match between Japan and Uruguay in their do-or-die pool game.
Nippy playmaker Jerry Tuwai will lead the side.
Team: 1. Alosio Naduva 2. Amenoni Nasilasila 3. Jasa Veremalua 4. Jerry Tuwai (C) 5. Josua Tuisova 6. Kalioni Nasoko 7. Leone Nakarawa 8. Paula Dranisinikula 9. Sevuloni Mocenacagi 10. Semi Kunatani 11. Semi Radradra 12. Vatemo Ravouvou.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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