Road to Moscow: Waisale Serevi

(IRB.COM) Thursday 21 March 2013  
 Road to Moscow: Waisale Serevi
Serevi won two RWC Sevens titles with Fiji in 1997 and 2005

With less than 100 days to go until this year's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, we caught up with Fiji's Waisale Serevi, who has won two RWC Sevens titles.

While giants like Eales, Pienaar, Johnson and  McCaw are synonymous with the Webb Ellis Cup, in the Sevens game the Melrose Cup might always belong to Serevi.

"I played Sevens for 21 years for Fiji and I have won two Rugby World Cups as a captain for Fiji," said Serevi.

"Rugby has given me a lot and the RWC Sevens means a lot to me and for the people in Fiji."

Both wins came in Hong Kong, where this weekend 28 teams will compete in two tournaments at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, and Serevi's first title was in 1997.

Road to Moscow: Serevi

"We were like school children coming in [in 1997], but we went on to win it and it was great," added Serevi.

"My greatest memory was the final against South Africa. They had just come from winning the World Cup in 1995 and really wanted to win the World Cup in 15s and Sevens.

"But we were warming up and I saw a sign saying 'take it home Fiji'. I told the boys to look and it was great motivation for us.

"I told them to play like it was the last game of their life and that it was an opportunity to do something for our little country. Winning that little Cup - it was huge for Fiji."

Spiritual home

Following Fiji's triumph in 1997, New Zealand became champions in 2001, before the event returned to the spiritual home in 2005 where Fiji beat the defending champions in the final after a dramatic semi final that saw Serevi score the winning try in sudden death against England.

"I think Hong Kong is my home away from home. I was on the plane and I saw a vision. My little boy holding the Cup.

"I had told them to stay at home and I will bring the Cup to them, but after I landed I phoned home and told Junior to come as I though it won't happen if he doesn't come.

"Before we went out in the tunnel against New Zealand I told the boys it was a great opportunity for Fiji. Whatever they had left in the tank to just give it all.

"When we won, I picked up Junior and took the World Cup. To win two Rugby World Cups, in Hong Kong, was really special for me."