HUNTER Wildfires coach Scott Coleman thought his eyes were playing tricks on him when he met Fijian flying machine William Lewesi.
"He is the spitting image of Semi Radradra. The beard, the square head, the big legs ... you would swear it was Semi," Coleman said.
Lewisi is among a host of new Wildfires on show at the Mick 'Whale' Curry Memorial Sevens at St John Oval on Saturday.
And Coleman hopes the powerhouse finisher can have the same impact as the former Parramatta try-scoring freak.
"I'm sure he will turn some heads," Coleman said."He has been a bit subdued at training. Against his teammates he has been playing within himself. It will be interesting to see if he opens up against different opposition."
Lewesi played for the Melbourne Rising in 2019 National Rugby Championship and has been in an extended Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby squad.
But he and fellow Fijian, lock Joe Tamani, haven't played in nearly a year after the Melbourne competition was canned last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"They haven't had any footy and are still pretty rusty," Coleman said. "The other new players have come from New Zealand and Brisbane where the competitions went ahead."
Tongan international halfback Leon Fukofuka, Nate De Thiery, Will Feeney and Zac Murray will also make their Wildfires debut.
"Leon is a beast," Coleman said. "He is a little underdone but he is strong, has a good pass and reads the game well.
"Nate gives us an X-factor. He is quick and has great feet. He had a contract with Hong Kong in Global Rapid Rugby last year but that didn't go ahead because of COVID and he has been back in New Zealand.
"Saturday is a good chance for the new guys to show us what they have got. Show off their skills and get a run under their belt.
"A lot of them have only been here a week do they need to get some miles as well as have a bit of fun."
The Wildfires are among six teams in the premier division in the sevens and have been drawn along with West Harbour and Penrith.
Defending champions Gordon head the other pool which includes Western Sydney Two Blues and Canterbury.
"It's our first hit out and we have done very little sevens preparation," Coleman said. "It's the start of the program but I'm confident we will be competitive. Gordon run a full sevens program and will be hard to beat. Parramatta (Western Sydney) have been training hard and have a few Fijians as do Penrith."
In the women's division, Hamilton will be up against seven Sydney outfits.
Eight Recruitment have again supported the women's division which will offer the same $5,000 in prizemoney as the premier men.
"To have parity in sports is crucial, it's the same game so every player should be receiving the same recognition," Hamilton president Lesa Mason said. " We are thrilled to have the support of Nadene Barretto and the team at Eight Recruitment, who recognise the value of women's participation in sports."
Hamilton, Singleton, Nelson Bay and Griffins head the Hunter contingent in the country division.
The premier men's final is scheduled for 5pm.
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