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Fijian soldier answers call of duty

Players of the Vodafone Fiji 7's team in training while in Sydney. Photo: Worlds

SUVA, Fiji-April 12: 4:22pm(Fiji Times): Fijian soldier Paula Dranisinukula relishes the chance of playing alongside his Vodafone Fiji 7s teammates in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Singapore this weekend.

He is the latest inclusion of the many members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces who have made their name in representing Fiji in the abbreviated code.

The 27-year-old Navuniivi man from Ra, follows in the footsteps of former and current Army players such as Jope Tuikabe, Emosi Mulevoro, Leone Nakarawa, Sikeli Vuruna, Sakeasi Vonolagi, Alifereti Dere, Mesake Rasari, Napolioni Naulia, Niko Baleiverata, Ponipate Bainivalu, Waqabaca Kotobalavu, Setareki Tawake, Sireli Naqelevuki, Lote Degei, Vilitati Sokiveta, Josua Vici and Isake Katonibau.

“This is a dream come true for me and I am looking forward to joining the boys and help them continue with the good performance they did in Hong Kong,” Dranisinukula said.

He said his work was cut out for him and he would do his best.

He expected the call-up after watching the game and seeing injuries taking its toll on the team in Hong Kong.

“I was expecting the call because I was on standby and now that I have been given the chance, I will do my best.”

Dranisinukula will join Nacanieli Labalaba and Lemeki Tulele as replacements in the Singapore leg of the series.

Meanwhile, the growth and the improvement of performance by the Fiji 7s team truly indicated the commitment they had as a team in improving and winning.

Fiji National Sports Commission chairman Peter Mazey made this statement after watching Fiji’s impressive performance at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Hong Kong final which saw Fiji winning 22-0 over South Africa.

“They have got a commitment now and I keep going back to what I said in the speech at the sports awards, ‘it has to be commitment’ and they proved that on Sunday night, they got together and they played like a really great team and it was almost like Rio all over again,” Mazey said.

He said the win was good for the Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber and for the players because the country was getting a little bit concerned.

“Some people were concerned but every coach needs time and obviously he is starting to pull together a really good team and it was great to watch.

Then he added that he was a bit concerned because of the results of their earlier games against Japan, Wales and New Zealand.

“I think the people have always had faith in the team but it’s the team that have to have faith in themselves,” he said.

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