Fiji women’s rugby sevens captain Rusila Nagasau is hoping her team can turn things around and vie for honours at this weekend’s Kitakyushu Sevens tournament in Japan.
The Fiji Airways Fijiana Sevens have performed below standards so far in the 2018–19 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series and they are 10th in the world standings after three tournaments.
However, dual 15 and sevens player Nagasau, who sees herself as a role model for the younger players, is hoping Kitakyushu is the turning point of their season after they arrived early for the tournament in a bid to settle down and acclimatise themselves to the playing conditions.
“The training here in Japan is going well. We also visited the Rugby World Cup venue and we were blessed to have a run at the ground. The coaches have managed to work on a few of the weak areas and we are ready for the tournament in the weekend,” Nagasau was quoted saying by Fiji Rugby.
— Fiji Rugby Union (@fijirugby) February 8, 2019
“Leading the team is not an easy task but I have a few of experienced players like Ana Marai Roqica and others helping me out.
“The biggest challenge for me was to get back to the sevens fitness after playing 15’s rugby for a quite a long time. I’m trying my best to set a good example for the girls in the team.”
Olympic qualification through the world series is unrealistic for Fiji because they are 37 points behind Australia, who occupy the fourth and final spot that earns automatic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Fijiana’s best hope it through regional qualifiers.
Fiji have nine points after three tournaments in the series and are four points behind Spain and one ahead of 11th-placed China. Kenya are bottom on two points.
In Kitakyusu, Fiji have been drawn against USA, Ireland and England for the pool games, with the tournament set to kick off on Saturday.
Main photo credit: Fiji Rubgy