Printer Friendly

Williams: We can't afford star Qera.

Byline: By PAUL BOLTON

PERTEMPS Bees' head coach Steve Williams is resigned to losing the services of ace Fijian flanker Akapusi Qera to a Premiership club next season.

Qera, 22, has proved one of the finds of the season so far but Williams knows that his pace and prolific try-scoring are already attracting the interest of other clubs in National One and some in the Premiership.

The Bees signed Qera on a bargain contract after he was recommended to them following his efforts in last summer's Sanyo Cup where he was capped against Tonga, Italy and Japan. His performances were given further recognition last week when Qera won Fiji's prestigious Player of the Year award at a ceremony in Suva.

Williams would like to retain Qera's services for another season but the former Wales lock accepts that the Bees are unlikely to be able to match the rival bids that will probably be tabled for him.

"We would love to keep Akapusi but we have to be realistic," Williams said. "We simply don't have the finances to compete with the offers that Akapusi will receive from other clubs.

"We were very fortunate to get him on the terms we did this year but he has justified everything that the agent who recommended him to us told us about him.

"He is one of the few Fijian forwards who have made it outside Fiji.

"Akapusi has shown that he can play over here and his Player of the Year award is recognition of that.

"Most other clubs in this league would love to sign him and most will be in a position to make him a better offer than we can.

"But I think that he is good enough to play in the Premiership and we will be trying to get him placed with a Premiership club for next season before his contract with us expires.

"If we can do that we can go to Fiji and say that we have played an important part in his development and hope that they recommend other talented players looking to play in England to us."

Qera, who has won five caps to date, beat favourite Kameli Ratuvou, the Saracens utility back, to the Player of the Year award which was collected on his behalf by his father Suliasi Sorovakatini, a former Fiji cricketer.

"It was a big surprise to win the award and a huge honour," Qera said. "My brother, Tiko Matawalu, also won an award for Player of the Tournament in the Sanyo Cup so my father was a very proud man."

Qera is due to return to Fiji in late March for World Cup trials before Fiji name their squad for next season's tournament in France, but the Bees hope to persuade the Fijian Rugby Union to allow him to stay in the Midlands until the end of the season.

"We know that Akapusi is due to go back for the first round of trials in March but we will be asking Fiji to allow him to stay with us," Williams said. "They have just voted him Player of the Year so they know all about him and he is better than the players who are based in Fiji.

"We shall be asking Fiji to allow him to stay with us until the end of the season to sort out a contract with a Premiership club for next season, and to have him back for i the next round of trials after our season has finished."

CAPTION(S):

IN DEMAND: Bees' Akapusi Qera is the target of Premiership clubs
COPYRIGHT 2007 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 21, 2007
Words:598
Previous Article:Cricket: Old hands can lift England - Maddy.
Next Article:Lawn Tennis: Dinq donq for Hendry.


Related Articles
Rugby Union: Bees rue missed chances.
Rugby Union: Bees rue missed chances.
Rugby Union: Capital gain for Williams; BEES: Bonus victory at Welsh - but winning margin should have been more LONDON WELSH 22 PERTEMPS BEES 26.
Rugby Union: Bees ready for Sunday crunch; SPORTS ROUND-UP NATIONAL ONE: Williams' men to raise game against title favourites.
Rugby Union: Williams: We can't afford star Qera.
Rugby Union: BACKS TO BASICS AS BEES PICK UP POINTS.
Rugby Union: Bees warm up with six of the best.
Rugby Union: NUTHALL GOES TO NEATH.
Rugby Union: Qera on way to Gloucester.
Rugby Union: Welsh pain as late try ends hopes; WALES 34 FIJI 38.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters