Editorial comment – Slow shift to 7s rugby

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians centre Semi Radradra on attack against Wales during their pool match at the Oita Stadium in Oita, Japan . Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

IT’S good to know Flying Fijian Semi Radradra may be staying in rugby union a bit longer than expected.

Having been linked to a rumoured switch back to rugby league, Radradra came off with a blinder at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

He anchored a strong campaign with a top notch effort against Wales in our final pool game.

We succumbed to the Welsh but Radradra, not surprisingly, won “man of the match”.

He was strong in defence and raked up metres to stand out as a key player for the Flying Fijians.

Radradra has since hinted he may be contemplating a longer stay in France.

He said he would return to playing professional club rugby in France.

“I still have one more season with Bordeaux rugby,” he said.

“I will let the agent do the rest and just focus on playing good rugby and see whatever comes after.”

What will interest fans though is his desire to take another shot at playing sevens rugby, which initially catapulted him to the limelights.

His next goal now is getting a chance to be part of our campaign at the Olympic Games in Japan next year.

It now focuses attention on our sevens campaign and how national coach Gareth Baber will plot his course from now until the Tokyo games.

The governing Fiji Rugby Union has a major challenge to get things in order for this campaign, now.

We head into the event as defending champions.

It is unfortunate that we have not been able to fully maximise on the positives of our victory at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Work to get to Tokyo would have already started though.

Baber will need the support of the powers that be at the FRU to make things happen.

He will need their understanding, and assistance to organise our campaign and continue to slowly build up his squad.

Preparations continue with the opening round of the World Rugby 7s Series in Dubai on December 5-7 with the next tournament in this leg set for Cape Town in South Africa on December 13-15.

We then travel to Hamilton in New Zealand for the next leg on January 25-26, 2020, before travelling across to Sydney in Australia for the next tournament on February 1-2.

The next leg starts in Los Angeles on February 29 to March 1 followed by the Canadian tournament on March 7-8.

The Hong Kong 7s is scheduled for April 3-5 and the Singapore 7s is set for April 11-12.

The next leg starts at Twickenham in London on May 23-24, and the series culminates on May 30-31 in Paris, France.

The Tokyo event is scheduled for July 27-August 1. As the RWC 2019 nears the end, Fijians will soon shift their attention to the 7s circuit. We say go Fiji, go.

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