New-look Fijians for Dubai and George

Fiji will head into the Dubai and George legs of the 2007/08 International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens Series with a new weapon in their armoury – the element of surprise.

While Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu on Thursday named many a familiar face in his squad for the 2007/08 season, Fiji go into the new season with a completely new team leadership and seven debutants in the squad of 12 for Dubai and George.

Recently appointed coach Jo Savou will look to establish a sound working relationship with his chosen captain, the relatively experienced Etonia Naba in the absence of World Cup quarter-finalist Semisi Naevo.

What is most significant about the Fijian Sevens squad for Dubai and George, however, is the fact that it does not feature any players from the World Cup in France.

If Fiji manage to win back their Dubai Sevens crown, after relinquishing it last year, they will have to do it with the following youngsters: Isei Lewaqai, Viliame Maya, Iliesa Ratavu, Epeli Vuniwaqa, Vereniki Goneva, Tomasi Mawi and Saimoni Nuku.

Akuila Nawerecagi, who along with 2005 Sevens World Cup winning back Neumi Nanuku and the 29-year-old Stefano Cakau are the only player in the Fijian team who don’t ply their trade in his home country, will offer some much needed stability and guidance to the team when the islanders take on Argentina in their opening clash in Dubai.

Fiji squad for Dubai and George: Etonia Naba (c), Isei Lewaqai, Viliame Maya, Iliesa Ratuva, Epeli Vuniwaqa, Stefano Cakau, Vereniki Goneva, Tomasi Mawi, Akuila Nawerecagi, Neumi Nanuku, Saimoni Nuku, Emosi Vucago.


365 Digital

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