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Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

7s boost

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by April 8, 2016 General

VODAFONE Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan is happy to have seasonal players back in the team.

Ryan said the return of Apisai Domolailai and Semi Kunatani was good for the team.

“It’s good to see people such as Domolailai back and fit and Semi (Kunatani) is in better shape than the last time he came and Ice (Isake Katonibau) is in better shape than in Vancouver. So there are positives really and I think this time in the season all teams have these pains and bruises. Watching the boys at the hotel and around in the training there are a lot of strappings, a lot of ice.

“That’s the way it is at this time of the season.

“Probably one or two who have shrugged off injuries and last year the boys were a little bit more injury free,” Ryan said.

“I think because of the short turnaround. It’s the same for all the teams but I think the boys are in a better shape.”

Ryan said Hong Kong was a tournament where there was a lot of pressure on the team.

“They got to deliver.

“If we don’t win the tournament and they play very well, then we look at it and then there were a couple of circumstances that caused us not to win the tournament.

“Then that gives me as a coach that we are in the right direction.

“We go into every tournament to win and there’s no reason we can’t win this tournament if we get everything right.

“We have got no excuses and we just want to get on and play as best as we possibly can and these boys know a win in Hong Kong and Singapore is going to make a big difference to their chances of getting into the team for Rio.”

Ryan said he wanted to keep the team together and keep building on it back at home with local players.

The team had its captain’s run at the Causeway Bay Sports ground on Hong Kong Island yesterday and was injury free and brimming with confidence.

Meanwhile, the Vodafone 7s team was playing Canada in their first pool D match at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series when this edition went to press.”We can do that as long as we’re winning and we’re world No.1 and if the team is going to be made up of those winning the series and winning tournaments regularly and we feel that’s the team that will take us to the Olympic Games, then we won’t change the side around much. But if they are not winning the tournaments regularly and we’ve got to look outside the group to strengthen that.

“There’s been a couple of tournaments where we’ve been lucky not to have had injuries to key positions. We got away with a couple of times.”

Ryan said they had to find a second winger and had players who would be given a chance such as Samisoni Viriviri and Joshua Tuisova who are available for the rest of the series.

Fiji faces Korea at 4.24pm before taking on Wales at 8.24pm tonight.

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