Three new names in Fiji squad for Wellington and San Diego
Staff
January 20, 2008

Fiji 7's coach Josateki Savou has named three newcomers - Tailevu speedster Malakai Bakaniceva and Nadi pair Taniela Rawaqa and Isei Lewaqai - in his side for next month's Wellington and San Diego tournaments on the IRB World 7s Series.

Savou brought the trio into the team after watching some sizzling action at the Fijian National 7s on Saturday at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

Rawaqa played Test rugby in 2007 and was a non-travelling reserve for the Dubai and George 7s last month. Lewaqai had initially been selected for the Dubai squad but contracted chicken pox and had to withdraw.

The only player from the December squad that wasn't considered was Vereniki Goneva, who has picked up a professional contract to play 15s overseas.

The Digicel Fiji 7s squad to Wellington and San Diego is as follows:


Forwards:
Etonia Naba (capt, Nadroga)
Isei Lewaqai (Nadi)
Viliame Maya (Suva)
Iliesa Ratuva (Nadroga)
Epeli Vuniwaqa (Tavua)


Backs:
Neumi Nanuku (v/capt, Nadroga)
Malakai Bakaniceva (Tailevu)
Setefano Cakau (Suva)
Tomasi Mawi (Suva)
Akuila Nawerecagi (Suva)
Taniela Rawaqa (Nadi)
Emosi Vucago (Nadroga)

Officials:
Josateki Savou (coach)
Opetaia Ravai (manager)
Venasio Ramabuki (physio)
Nacani Cawanibuka (trainer)

Non-travelling reserves:
Sakenaca Aca (Tailevu)
Rupeni Nasiga (Nadroga)
Saimoni Nuku (Nadi)

After Saturday's National 7s, the Fijian selectors also named 15 players that will later join the above squad in preparing for the Hong Kong 7s and Adelaide 7s in March and April.

The following players are part of this extended squad:


Ovini Burekalou (Tavua)
Gabriel Daunivucu (Suva)
Isake Katonibau (Northland)
Timoci Matanavou (Ra)
Taniela Naiceru (Yasawa)
Timoci Naqusa (Tailevu)
Ratunaisa Narukutabua (Nadroga)
Napolioni Naulia (Suva)
Iliavi Satala (Suva)
Alfred Smith (Lautoka)
Mesulame Soga (Tavua)
Pio Tuwai (Ba)
Mosese Vatunitu (Rewa)
Epeli Vuicuvu (Nadroga)
Marika Vunibaka (Suva)

In addition, three overseas-based players have been selected as part of the enlarged squad:

William Ryder (Toyota, Japan)
Semisi Naevo (NEC, Japan)
Nasoni Roko (Hino, Japan)


And three players from Vanua Levu who were unable to play in the National 7s have been included for development purposes:

Rafaele Suvianavanua (Cakaudrove East)
Aleposo Bueta (Cakaudrove East)
Lepani Tukavesi (Cakaudrove East)


"The BP National 7s threw up some great talent for all of us to see," coach Savou said. "With regards to the enlarged training squad for Hong Kong, we have tried to cast our net as far as possible and bring in the players that have shown outstanding potential."

"I also attended the Kanakana 7s in Vanua Levu on Thursday and Friday and have asked the three players from Cakaudrove East to join us."

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