Former 7s star praises performance

Fero Lasagavibau, right, and Jone Daunivucu, middle, with a friend in France. Picture: SUPPLIED

FORMER Fiji 7s rep Fero Lasagavibau highly commended the 2018/2019 World Rugby Sevens Series Rookie of the Year Ratu Meli Derenalagi for his individual rare skills in rucks that contributed to his chances of winning the award.

The France-based former Fijian 7s and 15s rep predicted a win for Fiji if they defended like war tanks in Paris and countered rucks like their life depended on it.

Gareth Baber’s gladiators did so resulting in their victory.

Lasagavibau salutes Baber and his team for the win and congratulated Derenalagi for his achievement.

“A 20-year-old countering rucks like a professional flanker similar to Richie McCaw has a bright rugby future filled with opportunities ahead of him with no doubts.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a call from one of the Top 14 French clubs for a contract in the near future because of his phenomenal performance in the weekend and he was exceptionally steady in his defence and not forgetting his attacking skills and offloads,” said Lasagavibau.

Meanwhile according to World Rugby Derenalagi accepted his award with dignity and respect.

“It means a lot for me and the work we did in training. I want to thank my teammates, for helping me to win this and the motivation they give me. It’s my first series so I am really happy to win this,” said Derenalagi.

The Nawaka lad from Nadi was also selected as one of the four Fijians named in the HSBC Dream Team for 2019. The four included the other two nominees for the Rookie of the Year Aminiasi Tuimaba and Filimoni Botitu and veteran Jerry Tuwai.

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