Yasawa rugby to begin off-season program

The Yasawa rugby team will begin its off-season training program on January 9 to prepare for the 2023 Skipper Cup competition.

Yasawa has named an extended training squad with more than 150 players.

The side returned to the top flight after edging Bua 21-20 in the semi-final of the Vodafone Vanua Championship.

Bua had filed a protest after the loss in regards to the registration of two Yasawa players but it was rejected by the judicial officer after hearing both parties.

Yasawa was promoted to the major union in 2021 after finishing in the top two of the 2020 Vodafone Vanua Championship but failed to retain their spot.

Yasawa recruited former Super Rugby backline utility and New Zealand 7s rep Iliesa Tanivula as head coach last year and things took a turnaround.

Tanivula said they had a lot of time to prepare because the 2023 Skipper Cup was scheduled to begin in June.

He said the reason why they had named a big training squad was because of transfers before the new season and injury concerns.

“I went up to the Yasawa Group to scout for players,” he said.

“We will set up training camps in Nadi and Lautoka. The aim is to be consistent in the Skipper Cup and retain our spot for the following season.

“It is no use being in the top flight and then slipping back down then trying to get up to the top again.”

Macuata is the other team that has been promoted to the 2023 Skipper Cup.

The following players have been selected in the extended Yasawa team for the 2023 season:

(Forwards) Josateki Vale, Osea Qovu, David Tagicaki, Esro Waqavonovono, Sikeli Qauqau, Joave Masitabua,Kalevati Ciliata, Josh Caqusau, Alipate Toko. Tomasi Mara, Osea Sadrau, Josua Yalataki, Nemani Vadege, Jone Toe, Varayame Nadriva, Viliame Rogose, Pita Nasowaqa, Timoci Ratu (Police), Ponipate Ratu, Viliame Raitivi, Albert Melrose, Kitione Tirau, Watisoni Rabolau, Tuvuki Kagi, Sekove Tuilakeba, Kitione Vatunitu, Joe Radrodro, Maikeli Rasau, Joseva Laweloa, Sireli Vocevoce, Tui Bekebeke, Kelepi Natiri, Ropate Rasuwala, Atu Naisatauvou, Paula Sivoinavatu, Joave Kavoa, Josh Riliropa, Talaiasi, Labalaba, Manasa Vatanitawake, Timoci Duaka, Apenisa Nasoro, Ratu Navula Dawai, Ratu Naulia Dawai, Anare LutumailagI, Brian Duaibe, Tomasi Naulumatua, Sela Makavu, Samisoni Baibai, Epeli Motoitini, Namai Waqavonovono, Rusiate Waqa ‘Tiger’, Vuata Narisia, Turuva Tuidraki, Tomasi Nawaqa, Maika Ratu, Apenisa Gole, Joeli Belo, Jovesa Ratu, Sireli Koroiuku, Seruvi Lua, Epeli Vukivuki, Apenisa Tuiba, Kaveni Tamani, Jone Tanoa, Rusiate Waqa ‘hippo’, Kalioni Ratunabuabua, Etuate William, Alifereti Samuela, Setevano Boti Naulago, Marika (Sikituru) Jone (Sikituru), Kisoko, Kitione Bariri, Peceli Tavaga, Malelili Ralulu, Iliesa Raseka, Viliame Raveli, Eneri Tokovou, Naelesoni Toqitoqi, Maravu Uluinalotu, Veni Karanavatu, Maleli Neinoka, Alipate Nakarawa, Manoa Tuivunilagi, Viliame Navaukula, Seruvi Baya, Anare Lagamu, Taniela Sayabo, Ledua Ratumuri, Taniela Sayabo, Aisea Volavola, Isimeli Volavola, Richard Derenalagi. (Backs) Vilimoni Morawa, Tevita Volavola, Sakaraia Namarua, Mosese Tamani, Luke Mataiciwa, Varayame Momo, Vilive Sadrugu, Jone Virivirisuva, Asivurusi Naliga, Saimone Navurua,Viliame Raqwele, Kavekini Varo, Maleli Ramoka, Kelepi Komailevuka, Akuila Dranivotua, Opeti Laqo, Lemeki Mataisau, Iveri Ratu, Josefa Vunisa, Namedre, Nemani Dawai, Moape Qiolevu, Simione Nabutulovo, Sairusi Duaka, Josaia Christian Sorovaki, Toe Momonikese, Taufa Navuwai, Vakacegu Tubakibau, Viliame Momo, Vilikesa Lete, Winston Volavola, Neumi Namakadre, Vio Dakili, Aisake Naqina, Ropate Nadrodamu, Laisenia Manuqila, Joji Tabualevu, Viliame Raveli, Savenaca Uluibau, Sainivalati Ratu, Seta, Maikeli Rokodinono, Manoa Qerea, Tomasi Ralulu, Iliesa Bari, Watisoni Nadriva, Ame Naivalu, Tomasi Vuluma, Eroni Sau, Pita Voravora, Inia Nasau, Maciusela Dudu, Waisale Siganimate, Sailasa Jale, Joseva Tuinacau, Erueli Muka, Tomasi Kurulo, Josese Ratu, Navitalai Gasewa, Ovaova, Sairusi Vunisa (Vio), Akuila (Yavusania), Raymond Karasini.

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