South African gets a taste of Fijian 7s Rugby

South African Ethan Vandernerue on the defece for Ucunivatu U21 against Wailagi Reds during the Fiji Bitter Wairiki Sevens Carnival in Taveuni yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

SOUTH African Ethan Vandermerue now has a better understanding as to why Fiji is crazy about 7s rugby.

A scuba diver by profession, the 20-year-old from Cape Town is on holiday on Taveuni and heard about the 15th Fiji Bitter Wairiki 7s carnival was being staged on the island.

After a few requests to be part of the event, he was invited to play for the Ucunivatu 7s under-21 team.

He said he was no stranger to rugby, having played the full version of the game just like his father and brother back home.

Vandermerue said the experience would be something to boast about to his friends in South Africa.

“I really enjoyed it. The support from the boys has been tremendous and very welcoming,” he said.

“Looking at the level of competition, no wonder Fiji is very competitive when it comes to rugby because looking at the different talent, the different style of playing, you don’t see it in any other country.

“I have been playing rugby mainly 15s and I’m learning a lot from these boys.”

He said he hoped to spend his two-month vacation exploring Taveuni.

“I’ve hear a lot about Fiji and Taveuni and I would like to visit all the well known places.”

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