Good 7s platform

Jope Tuikabe of Fiji breaks through the Australia defence during a match. Picture: ZIMBIO

RUGBY World Cup Sevens winner Jope Tuikabe believes winning this year’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title will set a good platform for the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco next month. Tuikabe, who was a key member for the first Fiji 7s team that lifted the Melrose Cup in 1997 said the inclusion of overseas-based players would further boost the team’s campaign. Fiji’s second 7s word cup win was in 2005.

Both these teams were captained by the King of 7s Waisale Serevi.

Tuikabe said Fiji had the potential to win the series but also needed to improve on their defence.

“The rugby 7s world cup like the Commonwealth Games comes after every four years and this should give our team ample time to prepare,” he said.

“A win at the series will be good platform for Fiji’s world cup campaign. “Fiji should lift their defensive pattern to prevent opponents from scoring easy tries. South Africa scored good tries against Fiji at last week’s London 7s and they need to tighten their defence. “We are good in attack but the focus is on our defence.”

Tuikabe said the Paris 7s pool games would best test the team’s defensive pattern. Fiji faces New Zealand, Samoa and Kenya in the Paris 7s pool games.

“It is going to be a tough battle for Fiji. The boys should control their games well against these top teams in the pool games to proceed further in the competition.” Fiji only needs to win the bronze medal in London to win the 7s series title.