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Dere wary

Arin Kumar
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NATIONAL sevens head coach Alifereti Dere is taking a cautious approach to the Uprising Fiji International 7s tournament this weekend.

He has divided the 21-member training squad into two teams — the Digicel Fiji Barbarians and FMF Fiji Warriors to feature in the tournament.

The former national sevens captain told Times Sport he was aware of Gordon Tietjens' interest in the tournament.

The All Blacks 7s coach is bringing a development side to compete in the tournament. Dere said there must be a reason why Tietjens was coming to Fiji just a few weeks before the Wellington 7s tournament rather than working with his team.

He said the New Zealand 7s team guru was looking for something here and that something in Fiji had caught his attention.

"A champion coach like him (Tietjens) coming to the Uprising 7s in Fiji, he must be up to something," Dere said.

"He could have been preparing his team for the Wellington 7s tournament and knowing him, he doesn't leave any stone unturned in preparation," he said.

"So that means he is coming here with a purpose."

Dere said he would not reveal much of his game plan when he fields the Barbarians and the Warriors in the tournament at Lautoka's Churchill Park on Friday and Saturday.

"Not because he (Tietjens) will see it but because it (game plan) is for the Wellington 7s not the Uprising 7s.

"In the Uprising 7s we are just looking to select the team that will travel to the Wellington 7s.

"We are not targeting to win the Uprising 7s but if the Barbarians or Warriors win it, then it will just be a bonus."

He said there was an abundance of talent in the abbreviated code in Fiji and Tietjens might be after it.

"He (Tietjens) already has a few Fijians in his side and there is something here that has caught his attention and I think it might be a large amount of talented players we have here.

"Tietjens is coming here with a good purpose but we are just going to do as we have planned and that is select our 12-member side that will travel to the next leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series," Dere said.





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