News Feed April 14-20

Image Credit: (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP) (Photo by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP via Getty Images)

All the latest news from around the globe updated daily from April 14-April 20 2022.

This article is updated daily so be sure to check back.

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Mata to miss July Tests

An ACL injury will sideline Flying Fijians and Edinburgh number 8 Viliame Mata for the majority of 2022 including the June Test Window. The big man will aim to make the November Tests.

Silver for Fiji

A white hot Fiji Sevens side fall at the final hurdle in Vancouver going down to Argentina 29-10.

Ultimately it was not the result we wanted but you have to give credit where it’s due, Argentina came with a game plan and they executed. They are always a bad matchup for Fiji.

Lessons learnt. A very good fortnight for our Sevens winning Gold and Silver. A better result than any other side.

Nacuqu scores 100th try

A double in Fiji’s opening match against England of the Vancouver Sevens takes Waisea Nacuqu to 100 tries on the Sevens Series. He becomes the 6th Fijian to achieve this feat.

Naholo to New York

R.U New York have signed their biggest name for the rest of the MLR Season in the former All-Black and Highlanders Championship winner Waisake Naholo. He will certainly raise the profile and interest of Rugby in the ‘Big Apple’ and also Rugby as a whole in the US.

Inoke Kurukuruvakatini. Credit – S.U Agen

Inoke to make debut

Agen will debut Inoke Kurukuruvakatini in this weekend when they take on Oyonnax. A bit of trial by fire for the 21 year old winger taking on one of the best sides in the competition in his first match. Inoke is the younger brother of Former Clermont and Fiji powerhouse winger Napolioni Nalaga. Inoke say’s “This is the moment been waiting for”. We wish him all the best in his debut.

Nemani Buliruarua and Semi Kunatani. Credit – Nemani Buliruarua

Beast joins the Heat

Tel Aviv have brought on board former Flying Fijian backrower Semi Kunatani just in time for their Semi Final this weekend against Portuguese outfit Lusitanos. Kunatani was recently with the extended Fiji Sevens squad and has worked his way back into playing shape. After 12 years he’ll get the chance to run out alongside former teammate Nemani Buliruarua (pictured).

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Grand Finalists confirmed

The Waratahs have claimed their spot in the Super W Final and will play the Fijiana Drua in easily the most anticipated Super W match in the competitions history. NSW were once again too strong for the Reds and handed them a 36-0 defeat only 5 days after beating the Reds 46-0.

The match will be played on Saturday 23rd April before the Fijian Drua vs Blues match at Aami Park in Melbourne as part of Super Round.

Vici back at centre

Montauban for the second match this season will start Josua Vici at outside centre. The powerful winger who is on loan from Montpellier has been a hit with his new Pro D2 Club since arriving scoring 3 tries in his first 7 matches. Niko Matawalu will man the wing while opposing them for Bayonne is former Sevens stars Sireli Maqala and Joe Ravouvou.

And speaking of Bayonne

Seeing the success of Sireli Maqala and how quickly he has transitioned into the Pro D2 from the Sevens Series, the rumour mill is running wild with news Bayonne are after current Fiji Sevens star Kaminieli Rasaku. The Tailevu native was an instant hit on the Series showcasing an elite sense of space, vision and skills to match. He has the ability to play right across the backline and if not Bayonne he will no doubt pick up a professional contract elsewhere. Here’s hoping it’s the Fijian Drua.
Bayonne currently sit 3rd in the Pro D2 and are one of the front runners to be promoted to the Top 14 next season.

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Yato return?

The Flying Fijian backrower has been spotted in social media posts walking around freely in the gym. His knee operation was reported to keep him sidelined until June but an early return could be on the cards which would put him in the mix for Test selection.

Making waves in Japan

Kintetsu Liners lock Sanaila Waqa has been in red hot form scoring 9 tries in 7 matches and winning several man of the match awards along the way. 202cm, 120kg with speed to burn and a very handy offload. The towering lock could and should be at the very least in consideration for a Flying Fijians jersey. He leads all Fijians in 2022 for tries scored and only second to Alivereti Raka for active competitions. For the second straight week he has been named in our Top 10 players.

Drua looking at overseas players

FBC news reported Thursday the Fijian Drua are looking at overseas players coming off contract as revealed by CEO Brian Thorburn. In the case some current Drua players are lured to other competitions, they will need to be replaced and Thorburn reveals they have been contacted by overseas players.
He also adds “I don’t want to portray it as a large number, one of the important things is that we have put faith in the squad that we’ve selected this year, they’re working incredibly hard to become match fit to become more skilled and experienced to learn all the stuff around Super Rugby, the pace and intensity.” – Quote from FBC article

I did some digging and it’s not easy to come up with reliable and updated contract information but these players are a few that could be in the market;

Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath) Taqele Naiyaravoro, Api Ratuniyarawa (Northampton) Leone Nakarawa (Toulon) Wame Naituvi, Vereniki Goneva (Stade Montois) Kini Murimurivalu, Nemani Nadolo (Leicester) Semi Radradra, Nathan Hughes (Bristol) Mesake Doge (Dragons) Pita Gus Sowakula, Emoni Narawa (Chiefs)

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Inconsistency at judiciary

Marcelo Montoya was in the headlines this week after being overheard on the referee microphone hurling a homophobic slur at Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt. Montoya called coach Nathan Brown to admit his wrongdoing. The NRL handed down his 4 match suspension on Wednesday which has highlighted the ever inconsistent rulings by the NRL judiciary.

James Webster of the Sydney morning Herald reports in his article titled Why the four-match ban for Marcelo Montoya’s homophobic remark was too much had this to say about the ban; Contrast this with Roosters captain James Tedesco, who yelled “Squid Games” in the face of a young Vietnamese woman outside at Bondi pub last year. Tedesco and the club initially denied any wrongdoing, before he was fined $10,000 with no suspension. Last month, Tedesco patted himself on the back for how, “I owned up to it”.

Veramu Dikidikilati with Matt Hilton (Credit – Veramu Dikidikilati)

Dikidikilati to Dallas

Former Sabercats and Drua NRC outside back Veramu Dikidikilati has been picked up by the Dallas Jackals in the MLR. Veramu played 12 matches for Houston last season, scoring 4 tries. Just reward for the powerful and skilful back who was constantly training and staying fit whilst waiting for an opportunity.

Still got it

A couple of our most experienced players were named in the Pro D2 Team of the week for their efforts in Day 26 of the competition. Mont de Marsan centre Vereniki Goneva who recently celebrated his 38th birthday and Montauban winger Niko Matawalu. Both players are enjoying solid seasons in particular Goneva who keeps turning out quality performances regardless of competition or age.

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Let’s talk about Timoci

An impressive first two matches for Timoci Tavatavanawai where he has shown just how powerful a runner he is. Constantly getting Moana Pasifika on the front foot and creating momentum. While still an outsider for a Flying Fijians jersey and despite fierce competition, a few more performances like his last outing will definitely catapult his name into the picture.

This article will be updated daily. Drop a comment below and let us know what’s on your mind.

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