Age not an issue for Serevi

2005-02-23 09:00

Suva - Aging rugby sevens wizard Waisale Serevi flew home from Britain on Wednesday to try to earn a spot on the Fiji squad for the Sevens World Cup in Hong Kong next month.

The 37-year-old told reporters his top priority was to return to the Hong Kong Stadium where he made his international debut in 1989 and that he would play in local club competitions this week to prove his fitness.

"My goal is to go to the World Cup and I always look forward to representing my country in sevens or 15s," said Serevi.

"The criteria for selection includes playing in a local tournament and here I am," he said.

Serevi, rated one of the legends of sevens rugby, bowed out of the Fiji squad last season in Bordeaux, France, having amassed a record total of 1 033 points - at an average of 56 points per sevens tournament.

He holds an unparalleled record at sevens with five Hong Kong titles and one World Cup winners medal, along with three Hong Kong MVP awards.

Serevi now plays for the Staines Rugby Club in England and insisted on Wednesday that age should be no barrier to his playing in the March 18-20 World Cup.

"I am a professional rugby player and train all the time. I am here to do a job for my country," he said.

"I have always said that I will try and play for Fiji as long as my legs can carry me. I don't look two years ahead. The World Cup is in three weeks and that is the target."

"For any rugby player, the World Cup is the biggest spectacle and I had decided at the beginning of the year to go to the World Cup and that's what I am aiming for."

The Fiji Sevens team has been under the spotlight following a string of lacklustre performances at recent International Rugby Board outings in South Africa, Wellington and Los Angeles.

The poor showings prompted calls by local fans and stakeholders to bring Serevi back.

Fiji are in the same World Cup pool as Australia, Canada, Japan, Portugal, and Hong Kong.