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Fiji Time: 9:29 AM on Wednesday 17 September

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In the name of his father

Rashneel Kumar
Friday, January 04, 2013

LUKE Masirewa is hoping his sacrifice during the festive season do not go in vain as he hopes to make the New Zealand sevens team for the third leg of the International Rugby Board (IRB) Sevens World Series next month.

The son of former Fiji and NZ 7s rep, Waisiki Masirewa, made his debut for the All Blacks 7s in South Africa after being called in as replacement to injured Sherwin Stowers.

The 18-year-old Waikato player was later named one of the seven new faces on the NZ 7s contracted list of players for this year.

Luke told Times Sport he was leaving no stone unturned in his bid to make the team for Wellington and Las Vegas 7s.

"I've been training really hard to make the team. I've been waking up at 5.30 every morning to go for a run and went to the gym even on Christmas Day and after church on New Year's Day," he said.

Luke said playing for the All Blacks 7s was dream come true for him and he was longing for more.

"It was an amazing feeling when I ran out on to the field with the black jersey on, it was my dream come true and to play against my home country made it even more special," he said.

"Before the game I cried so much and thanked God for what He has done in my life and giving me the opportunity to showcase the talent He has given me.

"I just want to make my parents proud and also do well for them and my family."

Luke thanked his father Waisiki for being the inspiration to him and his other siblings.

"He trains us every day to make us better players and gives us advice on how we can improve, and it's like having my own personal coach," Luke added.

"I want to be as good as he was or even better."

Meanwhile, Luke rated his country of birth, Fiji, highly in the Wellington 7s.

The Digicel-sponsored national side slipped to the third spot in the IRB 7s series rankings but hopes to close the gap with points leaders New Zealand in the upcoming leg.

"The Fiji team is always tough to play, anything could happen when you play them.

"I expect that they'll give everything at Wellington and try make up for what happened in South Africa 7s," Luke said.

"They are the best so I expect nothing less than the best when we (may) play them."

The Wellington 7s will be held on February 1 and 2 at the Westpac Stadium.

Fiji faces Portugal, Australia and Scotland in Pool D while New Zealand will take on England, USA and Spain in Pool A.