24 Oct 2016

Sport: Fiji trim sevens squad

12:49 pm on 24 October 2016

Fiji have refined their sevens training squad to prepare for next month's Oceania Championship and the first round of the World Series in December.

Despite still being without a replacement coach for Ben Ryan, an original list of 30 has been trimmed to 25 by team manager Ropate Kauvesi and strength and conditioning coach Naca Cawanibuka.

Olympic gold medallist Masivesi Dakuwaqa was the highest profile omission, having made himself unavailable for selection for personal reasons.

Rio gold medal winner Masivesi Dakuwaqa has made himself unavailable for the Fiji sevens team.

Rio gold medal winner Masivesi Dakuwaqa has made himself unavailable for the Fiji sevens team. Photo: AFP

Six members of Fiji's champion side from Rio have been included, with captain Osea Kolinisau joined by Apisai Domolailai, Jasa Veremalua, Jerry Tuwai, Kitione Taliga and Samisoni Viriviri.

Viriviri was not a part of the initial training squad but is no longer playing in France and available for selection, having returned to Fiji following the birth of his first child.

The other new faces are Jone Qorovarua and Ropate Labalaba, while Emosi Daunavesi, Jone Vota, Kelemedi Waqa, Manasa Cavuilati, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Meli Rokoua, Nemani Nagusa and Pio Tuwai were not selected, having been a part of the original 30-man squad.

Fijian sevens player Samisoni Viriviri.

Samisoni Viriviri is back in Fiji. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ropate Kauvesi said Nagusa is involved in the Flying Fijians set-up while Pio Tuwai was unavailable for personal reasons.

The Fiji Rugby Union board was interviewing prospective coaches last week with the intention of confirming an appointment by the end of October.

Fiji will host the Oceania Sevens in Suva in just under three weeks time, with the World Series kicking off in Dubai in a little under six weeks.

Fiji sevens extended squad:

Alivereti Veitokani, Amenoni Nasilasila, Apisai Domolailai, Donasio Ratubuli, Emosi Mulevoro, Jasa Veremalua, Jerry Tuwai, Meli Rusa, Jone Qorovarua, Josua Vici, Kitione Taliga, Daveta Koroitakali, Nacanieli Labalaba, Osea Kolinisau, Ropate Labalaba, Samisoni Viriviri, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Timoci Sinaite, Josefa Levula, Waisea Nacuqu, Rusiate Tadulala, Nemani Cavuilati, Sevuloni Tawake, Lepani Kurumudu (Army), Seru Cavuilati.