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Fiji includes six Olympians for Dubai Sevens

Olympic sevens champions Fiji have named a star-studded 14-man squad to defend their HSBC Dubai Sevens title, including six gold medallists from Rio 2016.

The Pacific Islanders will take to the turf in Dubai on December 2 not only as back-to-back HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions, but also as the first ever men’s rugby sevens Olympic champions after winning their country’s first ever Olympic medal.

Six Fijian players will bring their Olympic experience to Dubai, with captain Osea Kolinisau, Jasa Veremalua, Samisoni Viriviri, Jerry Tuwai, Kitione Taliga and Masivesi Dakuwaqa all getting the call-up to help mount the challenge for their third consecutive series title.

Fiji, who are clubbed with Argentina, Wales and Canada in Pool A, will start their series without coach Ben Ryan, who masterminded both of their series wins and Olympic success during his three-year tenure.

Last month Welshman Gareth Baber was named as their new coach, but he will not be starting until early 2017 when the series travels to Wellington and Sydney.

The team’s fitness and conditioning coach for 2015-16, Nacanieli Cawanibuka, is currently coaching the team.

Squad: Nemani Nagusa, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Emosi Mulevoro, Jasa Veremalua, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Setareki Bituniyata, Osea Kolinisau (captain), Waisea Nacuqu, Seremaia Tuwai, Kitione Taliga, Kalione Nasoko, Joeli Lutumailagi, Samisoni Viriviri, Josua Vici