Former sevens reps speak up

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Former national 7s players and Olympians Samisoni Viriviri, Vatemo Ravouvou and Jasa Veremalua. Picture: FILE

Former national 7s players and Olympians are urging the Fiji Airways 7s team management to reassess their tactics both on and off the field following a recent winless streak in the sevens series.

Samisoni Viriviri, a former 7s speedster, emphasised the need for Fiji Rugby Union to re-evaluate the 7s pathway for local players.

He highlighted there was a significant gap from grassroots to elite levels that demanded serious attention.

“In Fiji, players just play at grassroots level and jump straight to elite level, there is a big gap between grassroots and elite that needs serious attention.

“Players should be prepared well, nurtured and trained before jumping to elite,” Viriviri said.

Viriviri said other rugby 7s nations with well-established pathways and structures were applying pressure on Fiji by altering their tactics.

“These other nations have changed their tactics and the main thing they have looked at is their pathway and that is why they are coming out strong against Fiji,” Viriviri added.

Vatemo Ravouvou, a former 7s playmaker, urged Fiji 7s head coach Ben Gollings to refine the team’s combination through increased camping sessions. Ravouvou said spending more time together was crucial for team bonding and enhancing understanding of each other’s playing styles.

“They are missing the right combination, they should be camping a lot because team bonding is key, so they understand each other’s playing style,” Ravouvou said.

Jasa Veremalua stressed the importance of embracing the concept of veilomani as emphasised by former coach Ben Ryan.

Veremalua pointed out there was a lot of individual play from the current team.

“The term veilomani is a broad term, it’s referring to them on and off the field.

On the field there needs to be unity, there is a lot of individual play,” Veremalua said.

These former 7s players have united under the banner of Stonewriters Legacy, recently concluding a three-day, face-to-face session for their rugby 7s level 2 coaching course at Saunaka Village yesterday.

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