Gloucester old boy Apo Satala drafted in for surprise sevens return
FORMER Gloucester favourite Apo Satala will make a surprise Cherry and Whites return on Friday night – three years after leaving Kingsholm.
The 34-year-old Fijian marauder has jumped at the chance to solve a mini injury crisis, to join Gloucester’s squad for the JP Morgan Premiership Sevens finals night.
Sevens specialist Satala will replace shoulder injury victim Tom Ailes in Gloucester’s squad for Friday’s short-format contest at Bath’s Recreation Ground (kick-off 7pm).
Satala made 30 Cherry and Whites appearances between 2008 and 2010, before a move to Sale Sharks fell by the wayside.
After a stint in National Two South with Taunton, the full-time Army private has been focusing on invitational sevens tournaments and training with Fiji Sevens.
A two-time Middlesex Sevens winner with the British Armed Forces, Satala has extensive experience with Fiji’s short-format national side.
And Gloucester’s sevens coach Olly Morgan believes he is the perfect late-notice replacement for the injured Ailes.
Morgan explained: “Apo knows what it means to represent Gloucester and uphold all the values of the club.
“He keeps himself in fantastic shape, is the right kind of player to replace Tom, and he didn’t have to think twice about agreeing to get involved.
“I know Apo well from his time at the club, and I know he will give everything he has to Friday night’s challenge.
"With the majority of the first team squad in Tignes and Hartpury also playing this weekend, Apo was the ideal man to step in and help out."