Big season ahead for the little magician Jerry Tuwai and his Fijian charges

Big season ahead for the little magician Jerry Tuwai and his Fijian charges

OLYMPIAN and Vodafone Fiji 7s star, Jerry Tuwai has a lot on his plate in the coming season of rugby's abbreviated code.

He eyes selection for the Gareth Baber-coached sides to the forthcoming 2017-2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai in December, next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia and the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in the United States. Yesterday he left Suva for the sand dunes in Sigatoka with members of the national 7s extended squad for a training session.

"For me my aim is to make it into the team that will start this season," he said.

"I need to improve my performance with every game and every tournament. Hopefully I will make it into the Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup squads too."

The nippy playmaker, rated as the next Waisale Serevi, said the road ahead which started at the sand dunes yesterday, would be tough.

"For us right now it is all about teamwork because of the long season ahead. One thing I have learned over the years is that teamwork and hard work are important and they had brought us victories."

He called on members of the public to support them in prayer and in any way they could.

"We need all the support that we can get because we have a lot of new boys. That does not change the Fiji 7s team. We are still Fiji and we can win tournaments starting from Dubai."

Tuwai is the only lone survivor of the Rio 7s Olympics gold medal winning team that left the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) headquarters for Sigatoka yesterday. He had learned a lot from coaches Ben Ryan, Nacani Cawanibuka, and Gareth Baber. He said the coaches had different techniques of training players but they had the same aim and that was to win tournaments and help players improve their performances.

"Baber and Ryan. They have their own techniques. Adapting and learning their techniques was something new, but in the end this is 7s rugby. The coaches may change, but the law and the nature of the game stays the same," he said.

2017-18 series dates: Dubai: December 1-2, 2017, Cape Town: December 9-10. Sydney 7s: January 26-28, 2018. New Zealand 7s - Hamilton: February 3-4, 2018. Las Vegas 7s: March 2-4. Vancouver 7s : March 10-11. Hong Kong: April 6-8. (Commonwealth Games 2018, Gold Coast 7s: April 14-15). Singapore 7s: 28-29 April. Paris 7s: May 26-27. London 7s: 2-3 June. (Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, San Francisco: July 20-22).