Fiji Sevens duo Aminiasi Tuimaba and Jiuta Wainiqolo

The Flying Fijians: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Men’s Sevens Champions

Napolioni Bolaca

Was recommended to Gareth Baber in 2018 while starring in the Skippers Cup, a local competition in Fiji. Was fast tracked into the national Seven and took the 2018-19 World Series by storm and repeated the exercise the following season. Playmaker and the team’s main goal kicker.

Vilimoni Botitu

Made an immediate impact when he came into the team at the start of the 2019-19 World Series, starred at centre for the Fiji U20 side that won the JWC Trophy competition in 2018. Plays he rugby in the Top 14 with Castres.

Meli Derenalagi

Born to play Sevens – his father Duniani Derenalagi and his dad’s two brothers Semisi Naevo and Apenisa Naevo all played for Fiji Sevens. Tall athletic forward who captained Fiji to victory in the Sydney Sevens last year before Covid did its worse.

Sireli Maqala

Another youngster at 21, Maqala is one of the newcomers who came into the squad late, mainly off the back of some impressive performances during the 2021 Oceania Championships. Importantant tries against England and in the semi-final and final.

Iosefo Masi

Just 21, an impressive athlete and the face of modern Fiji combining his rugby career with studying for a Bachelor’s degree at Fiji National University in Suva. Late addition to the squad after impressing at the Marist Sevens, a big domestic tournament which acts as an unofficial Fiji trial.

Waisea Nacuqu

Diminutive playmaker with exceptional gas, Nacuqu has been playing Sevens for Fiji on and off since 2014. A cousin of former Sevens stars Josua Tuisova and Pio Tuwai. Hails from Votua village on the Ba River and once earned a living as a fisherman.

lione Nasoko

Grew up on the island of Yawa Levu and yet another powerhouse runner blessed with great hands, Nasoko made his Fiji debut at the Dubai Sevens in 2017 and was player of the tournament in Hong Kong later that year. World Series Dream Team two years on the bounce. Was headed for Edinburgh two years ago but the deal fell through when he failed his medical.

Semi Radradra

A world star of the fifteens game, Bristol centre Radradra has lit up the Top 14 and Premiership and starred for Fiji at the 2019 World Cup. First played for Fiji Sevens a decade ago and has always kept in contact. Made himself available and although only used sparingly his presence on the bench spoke volumes for Fiji’s strength in depth.

Aminiasi Tuimaba

One of the quickest sprinters in Fiji, he put his athletics ambitions on hold to concentrate on Sevens and was Fiji’s top try scorer during his debut season for the Sevens team in 2018-19. Hails from Yasawa.

Asaeli Tuivuaka

Stocky, powerpacked crowd pleaser who can melt opponents with a tackle or make a huge dent going forward. Fiji Sevens is not all about dreamy skills. His uncle Setatano Cakau is a former Fiji Sevens captain while his brother was a promising player but died in 2011 after an accident at club training.

Jerry Tuwai

Fantastic captain and leader and sole survivor of the 2016 squad which makes him rugby’s only modern day double gold medallist. Was constantly told he was too small and too unfit before Ben Ryan recognised his talent in a local tournament in the build-up to 2016 and got him on the national squad.

Josua Vakurunabili

One of the older players at 29, made his debut at the London Sevens in 2017 and was named in the tournament Dream Team at the Singapore Sevens in 2019. Thought his shot at Olympic glory might have passed but it hadn’t.

Jiuta Wainiqolo

Devastating open field runner with shoulders like concrete, the 22-year-old was making his Fijian Sevens debut let alone his Olympic debut. Scored tries in five of Fiji’s six games. Toulon have had their ears close to the ground in Fiji and have reportedly signed him up for next season.

Leave a Comment