Fijian Rugby News Feed April Week 18

Image Credit: Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

All your news, updates, rumours and opinions in one place, updated daily.

Seruvakula names Fijiana Squad

Fijiana 15’s head coach Senirusi Seruvakula has named a 32 member extended squad for the historic upcoming test matches against Japan and the Wallaroos. Included in the squad are 5 overseas based players including Brumbies Super W flanker Talei Wilson, USA Based and daughter of a legend Asinate Serevi, GPS Rugby Utility Anna Nasalo, 2020 Buildcorp Super W player of the year Ema Masi and rugby league convert, the former NSW Blues Under 19’s star Luisa Yaranamua.
Seruvakula added  “These players were always on my radar and I have always been in contact with them throughout the season.”

Wow! These are some big names to add to the squad. Talei Wilson was one of the Brumbies best this season and probably their best against the Drua. Asinate Serevi based in the USA and playing for Scion Rugby Club, brings the Serevi name back where it belongs. Luisa Yaranamua is one of the brightest Rugby League prospects, a huge coup and not to mention probably the biggest of them all in Ema Masi who only 18 months ago was named player of the Super W competition.

Clearly the Fijiana Drua’s impact has left a huge imprint on Fijian Women around the World. These additions not only bolster the squad they make them genuine World Cup Title threats.

Credit Fiji Rugby

All wrong Brian

Fijian Drua CEO Brian Thorburn has made the drastic decision to delay the coverage of the Drua’s homecoming match with the Highlanders in reaction to poor ticket sales. “The match will not be live on free to air or subscription tv…we need to encourage people to come and watch the game, not sit at home, drink grog and watch it on tv.” Brian Thorburn to Fiji One News.

I don’t think there’s a better response then the post by Sikeli Qounadovu of the Fiji Rugby Players Forum;

Tell that to the family of the versatile and inform flanker Vilive Miramira, in Bua. In fact say the exact words to the families of Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta in Nabaitavo, Naitasiri.I dare you to say the same words in front of these young innocent children who have to hike to a mountain top just to catch a signal and witness their heroes play. The Fijian people own 51% of Drua, and the great majority live below the poverty line.

Not all of them have access to the Stadium let alone can afford to purchase a ticket, and this is your way of repaying the very tax-payers that have just paid you and your cohorts $3M with another $3M later… Is that what you implying that any Fijian who doesn’t go to the grounds just sits, drinks grog and watches the TV? You obviously have been stuck for far too long in your own wooden box at Valekau. Stop disrespecting my people. You have no right whatsoever. Shame on you. Click here to see full post

Viliame Tuidraki making his debut this weekend. Photo- Fiji Sun

In his father’s footsteps

Toyota Verblitz have named former Fiji Under 20’s and Junior Japan representative Viliame Tuidraki in their matchday 23 for their match against Black Rams Tokyo on Saturday afternoon.

If he manages to run on it will be his League One debut.

He will be the third Tuidraki to play for the Toyota club with older brother Vatiliai Tuidraki currently at the club and his father the late Patiliai Tuidraki, who represented both Fiji and Japan also played at the club.

Vili was named dux of Ratu Navula College in 2015 and studied at the University of Japan. He is a fullback and winger by trade.

Jiuta happy about Waisea joining RCT

In an interview with RugbyRama, Jiuta Wainiqolo expressed how he feels about Flying Fijians captain Waisea Nayacalevu joining the club next season;

“It’s true that next season, Waisea Nayacalevu is coming to Toulon. It’s good that we can play together before the World Cup. I think the RCT will have a big team next year.”

“He is a friend and we grew up in the same town, in Navua. We know each other very well. He’s older than me, but he knows my family, we went to church together. I am really happy that he is coming to Toulon. He told me he was happy because it was too cold in Paris (laughs).”

Wainiqolo also mentioned Vern Cotter and the upcoming tests; “Did I get a phone call from the coach? No, but a message, yes. He asks us to be ready for the tests and explains what he expects of us.”

Alexander Masibaka possible Super Rugby debut. Photo – Melanie More

Masibaka to make debut

The Western Force have named 6 forwards on their bench for their Round 11 matchup vs the Blues on Friday night giving backrower Alexander Masibaka a chance at making his debut.

The former Australian School and Junior Wallabies representative was born in Australia to a Fijian father from Labasa. His roots trace back to Nakanacagi, Dreketi in Macuata.

Kamikamica Cleared

Melbourne Storm prop Tui Kamikamica has had his assault charge dismissed by a Brisbane court. Tui has missed the first 8 rounds of the NRL season due to a no-fault stand down policy but is now cleared and will be available for selection in Round 9.

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Opinion – This brings into question the NRL no-fault stand down policy especially when you consider Penrith winger Taylan May was charged in March with assault occasioning bodily harm but has made 5 appearances for the Panthers and has been selected this week. He is due in court in May. I have no issue with the fact Taylan is playing, innocent until proven guilty but why does the policy apply to some and not others? Anyway, moving on…

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Houston sign Godzilla

Former Fiji Under 20’s rep Maikeli Mudu Naromaitoga has landed in Houston for the rest of the 2022 MLR season. At an imposing 6’5 and tipping the scales at over 280lb, Mudu adds grunt and physicality to the Sabercats pack. He hails from Korovuto in Nadi with maternal links to Navatulevu, Nacavacola.

Having played in the MLR since 2019 first with the Utah Warriors, then Austin Gilgronis for 2 seasons before his latest deal with Houston. He is nicknamed Fijian Godzilla and recently earned a sponsorship deal with Kombuchade, a sports drink that claim to be the cleanest and most functional sports drinks on earth.

Fijiana return to the Sevens Series. Photo – World Rugby

Fijiana Sevens Returns

Coach Saiasi Fuli has named a squad choc full of experience and talent to compete at the Langford Sevens this weekend followed by the Toulouse Sevens.
Set to make her debut is Verenaisi Bari who impressed at the Vodafone Vanua Championship. “Bari is one of the promising players and has been tirelessly working hard for a spot in the team. As a player, she has developed a lot while in camp and will certainly shine in the upcoming international meets.” – Quote by Fuli / Fiji Rugby

Laisani Likuceva returns from injury and Rusila Nagasau resumes her role as skipper.

Full Squad – 1. Rusila Nagasau 2.Vasiti Solikoviti 3. Vani Buleki 4. Sesenieli Donu 5. Raijieli Daveua 6. Mereula Toroti 7. Reapi Ulunisau 8. Viniana Riwai 9. Levana Cavuru 10. Ana Naimasi 11. Aloesi Nakoci 12. Laisani Likuceva 13. Verenaisi Bari *

Fiji kickoff theLangford Sevens against the USA before playing England and New Zealand.

See all Fijians selected around the world this weekend.

This post will be updated daily, be sure to check back.

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