THERE has been a gradual increase in the overall fitness level of the players drafted into the Digicel Fiji sevens extended squad for the second leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Fiji Rugby Union fitness trainer Nacanieli Cawanibuka noted a "progressive" improvement from the previous screening of players.
Cawanibuka said the endurance level of the players had also improved from the previous fitness test.
"Generally speaking, it was a progressive improvement from previous screenings in terms of aerobic power of our players," Cawanibuka said.
"In terms of speed, there were a number of impressive speed times, even a senior player actually clocked the fastest speed time of 4.86 seconds across 40 metres, which was outstanding.
"The beep test had most of the players over Level 11."
Fiji 7s head coach Alivereti Dere earlier told Times Sport, the players' fitness level had improved from an average of nine to 11.
He said this showed the commitment of the players in making the national side for the upcoming tournaments.
However, Cawanibuka said there were a lot of areas they had to work on to get the players in perfect shape for the Dubai and South Africa 7s.
"Most of the young players who have not been through the high performance system generally showed a lack of being in proper training environment, however, they possess natural talent that will even become better when properly harnessed in a proper physical preparation regime," he said.
"For those who are new to this level, there's still a lot of work needed on strength levels from which power output is generated.
"This takes time, as training increments happen with its induced physiological and chemical changes within the body and this process takes time."