March 29, 2022
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Jerry Tuwai says he is impressed by the performance of young Ba River under-21 Captain Josua Tuisova at the Marist 7s over the weekend.
Tuwai said Tuisova remained determined throughout the Marist 7s and also played a different 7s class of rugby in the Under 21 final against the Dominion Brothers.
He said that given more exposure, Tuisova could be seen donning the Fiji 7s jumper in the upcoming years.
"He is a very good 7s player and has a lot of potential in him."
"I saw his 7s rugby and the way he played tells me that he will make it to the Fiji 7s squad one day."
"He has the speed and the skills that make him not just run but also doge the players to score the tries."
"Yes, I think he needs more game time and exposure to 7s."
"I'm sure that coach Pio will help in every way but he also needs to show his determination towards the sport."
The 20-year-old who hails from Votua village in Ba admits that he really needs to work hard and stay determined in order to attain a Fiji 7s jumper just like his namesake and Fiji 7s gold medalist Josua Tuisova.
He said Tuisova, who is currently playing for Lyon in French Top 14 competition boosted his confidence ahead of the Marist 7s tournament.
"Jos is related to me and has been really helpful. He always encourages me to play 7s rugby. He said my height and my speed is good for 7s rugby."
The former AD Patel College student who scored the winner for the school in the 2018 Inter District Championship said not being able to make it in the Ba football squad, he decided to transit into rugby.
"I just started playing rugby last year."
"Before I used to play soccer for AD Patel College in Ba and then I was training with the Ba team but couldn’t get in the main team."
"So Jos told me to take that as an encouragement and utilise my strength in rugby and then I shifted to playing rugby."
"I used to play rugby with Pio and the other boys in the village and then Pio made this team so we joined him. He is a good coach and a very humble mentor."
Seasoned journeyman Pio Tuwai said Marist 7s was a good platform to give exposure to the young ruggers in Ba.
"Most of our players are school dropouts and unemployed. So we formed this team seeing that the boys in Ba have a lot of passion for rugby and then we came down to Marist 7s."
"It's a good platform for these players to show their rugby talent and skills and also try to attract the eyes of the Fiji 7s coaching panel."
"We just formed a team and I feel that these players need more participation in the local tournaments because we don't know if we will be able to reach the finals."
"The loss in the final has opened our eyes that we can reach the finals and win it if we continue to play in the domestic competition. We are shifting our focus on the next competition next month," he added.
By Romeka Romena