Blessed with an abundance of pace, poise and rugby nous, Fiji is a rugby stronghold that prides itself on its free-scoring, fast-moving style. And it is that combination that have so many people counting down the days until the Swire Shipping Fijian Latui are unleashed on Global Rapid Rugby.
The Fijians will open their Rapid Rugby campaign at home against Kagifa Samoa at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday. With Fijian national team talent including Frank Lomani, Eroni Mawi, Mesulame Dolokoto and Mosese Voka, as well as representatives from Fijian Drua’s 2018 National Rugby Championship winning squad, there is no shortage of quality.
“It’s going to be very exciting and interesting for the fans to watch. It’s going to be a very fast flowing rugby. The fans will love to see the Fijian flair of rugby as our players love running with the ball. It’s totally different from 15 aside here in Fiji,” said Coach Senirusi Seruvakula.
Sixteen players from Suva Rugby Union, ten from Namosi and five each from Nadroga and Naitasiri make up the 36 member Fijian Latui squad. Seruvakula has had his players in camp over the past few weeks getting them up to speed.
“The players are adapting well and I believe it is not new to them as this is how the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua played last year; running rugby from the ’22 to the try line,” Seruvakula said.
“The players need to be very fit physically and mentally. There is a lot of running and a lot of skill level to be tested in the competition.
“It’s a fast pace game of rugby… there are some rules such as the players not being allowed to kick from the 22 meter line and also rolling subs which is good.”
Saturday is the start of two massive weeks of Rapid Rugby at Churchill Park. Following the clash against Kagifa Samoa, Fijian Latui face the Western Force who went undefeated to win the recent Asia Showcase Series and are determined to back that up with victory in the Pacific campaign.
Local fans will be treated to a double delight with each Rapid Rugby match preceded by Vanua Championship clashes: Yasawa v Vatukoula (Sat, 18 May) and Lautoka v Yasawa (Sat, 25 May).