Japan club set to lure Fijian Sevens star

Fijian Sevens sensation William Ryder has been offered a contract to play in Japan with the Toyota Club reported the International Rugby Board (IRB)website.

Fiji player/coach Waisale Serevi confirmed that talks with the Japanese club were continuing and that nothing had been confirmed.

“I know that there has been interest shown from a Japanese club. But he (Ryder) needs to get a release from us before joining the club,” said Fiji Rugby Union sponsorship and marketing manager Jeremy Duxbury.

While little is known of Ryder’s ability as a fifteens rugby player, it would not be a first; Sevens team-mate Semisi Naevo has also played rugby in Japan, while New Zealand Sevens greats Amasio Raoma Valence and Orene Ai’i both left the Sevens game to pursue the fifteen-man careers there last year.

Ryder is part of a group of sevens players contracted to the Fiji Rugby Union and was instrumental in Fiji’s second Cup victory of the season in Adelaide.

Meanwhile, Sireli Naqelevuki has been ordered to play more fifteens rugby if he is to be considered for Fiji’s Rugby World Cup squad.

Naqelevuki has recently returned from a drug-related suspension so is available to Fiji coach Ilivasi Tabua.

“I met Naqelevuki and discussed his plans for the Rugby World Cup,” Tabua said.

“For him to be considered in the Fiji team he needs to play more fifteens rugby and get back into usual training programmes.”

Tabua said that Naqelevuki plans to return to the Newlands-based Western Stormers side for the Currie Cup competition and return for the trials in July.

Those plans could rule him out of the final legs of the IRB Sevens World Series in England and Scotland.


365 Digital

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