Stars unlikely to shine for province

Vilimoni Koroi
Vilimoni Koroi
Otago has two of the best sevens players in the country but the likelihood of seeing them in the blue and gold in the shortened version of the game appears slim.

Vilimoni Koroi and Jona Nareki have both played for the New Zealand sevens side and have signed contracts with New Zealand Rugby to play sevens through to 2020.

Both played for Otago in this year's Mitre 10 Cup, although Nareki picked up an injury in the Ranfurly Shield win over Waikato. But there is little chance of the duo turning out for Otago over the next month in sevens tournaments.

Jona Nareki
Jona Nareki

Otago coach Roy Hawker has not been given any indication of whether the duo will play for Otago and has not seen them or heard from them.

He was not counting on them appearing for Otago at the national tournament in Tauranga next month. Neither player turned out for Otago at the last national tournament in January.

It seems strange a national tournament will take place where some of the leading lights of the game will not be sighted.

Players on national sevens contracts are now based in the Bay of Plenty throughout the sevens season and have commitments to the national side.

The Dubai sevens on December 1-2 and the Cape Town sevens on December 8-9 will tie up players. The national tournament is set for the following weekend, December 15-16.

New Zealand Rugby said yesterday some contracted players might play in the national tournament next month, on a case by case basis. More will be known next week when the squads for the Dubai and Cape Town tournaments are named.


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