Sports News

Sports news in brief for March 17

Fiji said the Oceania Under 20 Championship was ideal preparation for their return to the top tier.

Photo: Oceania Rugby

Fiji – Drua juniors

Fijian Drua Under-20 head coach Ifereimi Rawaqa has named his 30-member squad for the Super Rugby Under-20 New Zealand competition which kicks off on Sunday in Taupo.

Rawaqa said the competition will give the players experience for future international meets.

“We will be using this competition as our build-up for the Junior World Championship and I believe the players will gain a lot of exposure and experience playing these top teams in the competition,” Rawaqa told Fiji Rugby.

Six players who were part of the Fijian Under-20 squad last year have made the cut into the final 30 while others selected are from the Skipper Cup and Vodafone Vanua Championship.

The six players are Philip Baseilala, Motikai Murray, Erami Baca, Eroni Sarasau, Waisea Tudulu and Kavaia Tagivetaua.

“The preparation started after the end of the season last year. We did talent identifications from the Skipper Cup and Vodafone Vanua Under-19 Championship. These players have been attending training at their various centers since November last year,” Rawaqa said.

“We will take each game as it comes. We know the capabilities of our opponents because they have been in this system for long enough.”

Motikai Murray has been named team captain.

Football – Oceania President

Lambert Maltock has been elected unopposed as Oceania Football Confederation President for a second four-year term.

He was elected at the confederation’s Extraordinary Congress in the Rwanda capital Kigali, where the 73rd FIFA Congress is being held at the same time.

Maltock, who is from Vanuatu, was first elected at the March 2019 Congress in New Zealand.

Maltock said over the past four years the confederation has implemented its football development strategies, which have raised the quality of men’s and women’s football through competitions.

He said in his second term he will drive a programme with the aim of qualifying two teams for both the men’s World Cup in 2026, and the women’s World Cup in 2027.

OFC’s two FIFA Council representatives Johanna Wood of New Zealand and Rajesh Patel of Fiji have also been elected unopposed for a second term.

Fiji – futsal

Fiji has named a 30-member squad for the FIFA Futsal international friendlies which will be played at the Vodafone Arena in Suva next month.

National futsal head coach Jerry Sam said after a successful two days of trials last weekend they have selected the best players.

“The players have been selected upon their performance and the game understanding during the trials,” said Sam

“We will have two teams in the competition, our Digicel national futsal team and Fiji FA President’s Five.

Sam confirmed the team will go into camp this Sunday.

The FIFA Futsal international friendlies will be held from April 13-16 with Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji participating.

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