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7 December, 2018, 11:20 am
THE future of Fiji rugby has taken a massive leap in the inclusion of Fiji Drua players into the Flying Fijians’ successful win over France last month, now the Fiji 7s team has injected three youngsters into their line-up gunning for the Cape Town 7s title tournament in South Africa this weekend.
Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber enlisted three debutants in his team who were all part of the Fiji U20 winning team from Romania in Ratu Meli Derenalagi, Aminiasi Tuimaba and Filimoni Botitu for the first leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai and this weekend’s Cape Town tournament.
Among the three new players, Botitu, from the highlands of Sabeto in Nadi, is a name to remember with his elusive skills in footwork and his attacking prowess with similar running style and defence of former 7s rover Joeli Lutumailagi.
The 20-year-old was part of Koli Sewabu’s champion team to the 2018 World Rugby Under-20 Trophy in Romania earlier this year and he was also named as the player of the tournament.
Sewabu said Botitu had a brighter future of rugby ahead of him and he would make a name for himself during the series.
“He is a very committed young man with a very bright future and his presence has been noticed already and I am sure with more exposure, he will be a superstar in the 7s code,” said Sewabu.
The newly appointed rover for the Fiji 7s team has a lot to prove in the 7s series and has the calibre to reach another standard in the world of rugby.
“He was instrumental for the Nadi U20 winning the competition this year and has got very good skills sets and can throw long passes with both hands,” the former Flying Fijians No.8 said.
“He is also a good kicker and quite elusive, deceptive with ball in hands and a good reader of the game.”
Fiji is pooled with France, Kenya and England.