Fiji in turmoil ahead of Adelaide Sevens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fiji in turmoil ahead of Adelaide Sevens

By Steve Larkin 04/04/2008 05:43:34 PM Comments (0)

Fijian rugby is in turmoil following allegations a former senior player has sabotaged the nation's Sevens campaign.

Fiji coach Josateki Savou has alleged the unnamed former player sabotaged the squad for personal gain in last weekend's Sevens tournament in Hong Kong.

The Fijians, ranked third in International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens standings, were thrashed 34-0 by New Zealand in a semi-final in Hong Kong.

Savou told the FijiVillage website that with the calibre of players he had, there was no way the team should have fared so badly.

The coach said he and captain Marika Vunibaka had established some key players were influenced by the former player not to perform at their best in the game.

The allegation was not believed to involve any financial gain, but more so regarded political bickering within Fijian rugby hierarchy.

The Fijians are in Australia for the Adelaide leg of the world Seven series on Saturday and Sunday.

But in the wake of the controversy they cancelled their final training session, scheduled for a ground in Adelaide's inner south.

Fiji Rugby Board chairman Keni Dakuidreketi is also in Adelaide for the tournament but could not be contacted for comment.

The board was expected to make a statement later on Friday.

Most of the Fijian Rugby Board members were expected to arrive in Adelaide on Sunday, the final day of the Adelaide leg of the IRB Sevens series.

The controversy comes a day after the Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) denied it held a grudge against former Sevens coach and star player Waisale Serevis.

Serevis, widely regarded as the greatest Sevens player in the world, quit as Fiji's Sevens coach last July over what the union described as "serious work related issues".

Serevis has denied mis-using union funds during last year's Hong Kong Sevens tournament.

"It is clear there is a concerted campaign from many quarters to recruit Serevi back into the FRU whether as a coach or player," the union said in a statement.

"Suggestions have been made that the FRU has a personal grudge against Serevi - these suggestions have no basis.

"Serevi resigned as coach ... after meeting with FRU directors over some serious work related issues."

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