Alifereti Dere has announced his Fiji Sevens squad for the upcoming Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on 22-24 March.
Fiji currently sit fourth in the overall standings, 30 behind leaders New Zealand, and will be without the injured Setefano Cakau for round six of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Cakau ruptured a medial ligament in his left knee during training and will also miss round seven of the Series, the Tokyo Sevens, on 30-31 March.
“After a thorough review by Dr McCaig, Cakau has been ruled out. He will have to go through a strict rehabilitation program to help his knee heal in time for the London and Scotland 7s,” said Fiji Rugby Union’s medical co-ordinator and team physio William Koong.
Fiji Rugby Union CEO Manasa Baravilala added that he was looking forward to the biggest-ever Hong Kong Sevens.
“The Hong Kong Sevens is well known as the Mecca of Sevens and since Fiji’s first win in 1977 with rugby legends Tui Cavuilati, Ilaitia Tuisese, Qele Ratu, Isimeli Batibasaga, Robert Howard, Vuata Naresia, Viliame Cegumalua, Rupeni Ravonu and Tevita Rabuli the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens has grown into one of the biggest rugby events on the international sporting calendar,” said Baravilala.
“It has also grown to be very competitive but we have a lot of faith in the team and are confident of a positive result.
“The team will be without Captain Setefano Cakau and Lepani Botia but we are confident that they will make the country proud. We would like to wish them all the best in Hong Kong and Japan.”
Fiji squad: Nemani NAGUSA (C), Jasa VEREMALUA, Ulaiasi TAVUCUILAGI, Jone VOTA, Leone NAKARAWA, Ilai TINANI, Benito MASILEVU, Samisoni NASAGAVESI, Emosi MULEVORO, Osea KOLINISAU, Sakiusa VATUINARUKU, Donasio NATURAGA
Series qualifying explained: Hong Kong & London
From the end of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series, promotion and relegation from core team status comes into effect, with a pre-qualifying competition in Hong Kong (round 6) and a final core team qualifier in London (round 9).
The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will feature 28 teams and two competitions: In the first, the 15 current core teams and the winner of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series, Hong Kong, will compete for the famous Hong Kong title and World Series points. In the second, 12 regional teams – two from each of the six IRB regions – will compete for four places at the core team qualifying final in London.
The Marriott London Sevens will feature 20 teams and two competitions: In the first, the top 12-ranked sides in the HSBC Sevens World Series after round 8, the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens, will compete for the London title and final World Series points. In the second, the 13th-, 14th- and 15th-ranked core teams after the Glasgow event will compete against the four qualifiers from Hong Kong and Asian champions Hong Kong for the three available core team places on the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.