New daddy Damu ready for Vegas
Former Blues star a key player for England in Las Vegas
FORMER Newbury Blues star Isoa Damudamu will be in the England Sevens squad that challenges for the USA Sevens title this weekend.
The Fijian-born centre last week became a father but last week took part in the Hertz Sevens in Wellington, New Zealand, seven days after the birth of his son Sela.
He will return home to join wife Pasimaca and their three children after the USA event in Las Vegas tournament, in which England face Brazil, Scotland and Kenya in the pool stages on Friday and Saturday.
“In a way I can't wait to get back and I know I'm going to be busy!”
Damudamu, a key and talismanic figure for Blues when they were in rugby's second flight, has switched to the centre where his creative skills and 6ft 5in frame can do maximum damage.
He helped England into third place in Wellington when beating Samoa 21-12 to leave England thir din the overall rankings.
“It's my first time here and I'd heard a lot about Vegas," he said. "The bright lights and the casinos. We're staying in Planet Hollywood which is right in the middle and is quite a busy place. It's totally different to what I'm used to but I don't want it to take away my focus for the weekend.
“Brazil we've never played before, so how they'll be you never know but if we play to our strengths it should be okay.
“Kenya are dark horses – last week they played pretty well. Scotland are tough every time we play them, there's a big rivalry and they seem to save their best for us.”
Damudamu continues to serve as a lance-corporal in the British Army with the Port and Maritime Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps in Southampton.
His former Blues coach Ben Ryan believes that Damudamu is a key member of his squad: “Damu's been central to a lot of things we do in attack and defence," he said. "We've been working hard to make sure he's fit and long may that continue. The move to centre and all the effort in the gym is paying off.”
Damudamu is likely to future for England in the London Sevens weekend on May 12 and 13.