Fijiana 15s coach still looking for players

Members of the Fijiana 15s rugby team during their training session at the Fiji FA ground in Vatuwaqa. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

The door to the Fijiana XVs remains open with head coach Senirusi Seruvakula on the lookout to select the best available players who will make history when they participate in the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 for the first time.

World Rugby has released the dates for the rescheduled event which will be held in Whangarei and Auckland, New Zealand from October 8 to November 12 next year.

The Fiji Rugby Union announced a training squad last November following the Fijiana XV’s qualification for the RWC 2021 after winning Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship at Churchill Park in Lautoka in 2019.

The training squad held camps late last year and early this year but this has been disrupted by the current COVID-19 lockdown.

The sport’s world governing body has committed to deliver an outstanding RWC 2021 announcing a £2 million ($F5.76m approximate) funding package to support high performance preparation and competition programs for qualified teams and teams which are still in the qualification process.

Seruvakula applauded World Rugby’s initiative saying the funding will boost their preparation budget.

He said the additional money would support them in delivering more and better training camps.

“It is very good for us as there will be more funding to spend on the valuable camps, looking after the skills and fitness level of the players and building the combinations,” Seruvakula said.

“The door is wide open for other players to force themselves into the squad. When the Skipper Cup recommences this year, then the talent identification will also start.

“We already started our training camps last year and a lot of overseas players have shown interest in representing the nation.

“With them coming in from a higher level competition it will give us more depth in the squad. So as coaches we will have our work cut out to select the best 30 for the RWC 2021.

Fiji will feature in the competition for the first time and will face England, France and South Africa in the group stage.

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