Viliame Mata A first: 18 Olympic rugby players competing at World Cup

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Fiji captain Leone Nakarawa has made the transition from 15-a-side to rugby sevens to pick up an Olympic gold medal and now he’s back again in the traditional format aiming to take his country further than ever at the World Cup.

Olympic rugby players will be contesting the Rugby World Cup for the first time when the quadrennial tournament kicks off Friday in Tokyo, which is also hosting the Olympics next year.

There’s 18 Olympians across nine teams, including Nakarawa, Viliame Mata, Josua Tuisova and Semi Kunatani from the Fiji squad which won the rugby sevens title when the condensed version of the sport made its Olympic debut at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Nakarawa will start

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