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Testing ground

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, January 17, 2013

NEW Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens has revealed that the inclusion of youngsters in the Kiwi Emerging team for this weekend's Uprising Fiji International 7s is part of their build up towards the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Tietjens, who is the technical advisor of the NZ Emerging 7s, has rated Fiji as the toughest place to play the abbreviated code.

He said the young players also had a chance to make the NZ team for the upcoming HSBC Wellington 7s next week.

"These young players have done a lot to get into the side," Tietjens said.

"We are building towards the Olympics in 2016 so we are giving the young boys an opportunity to play in the best place to play 7s rugby and that is Fiji.

"So you know that if these players can play against some of the best in Fiji then they will be given that opportunity (to play at the Wellington 7s)."

Fijians David Raikuna, Luke Masirewa and Seta Tamanivalu are part of the NZ Emerging 7s squad.

Tietjens rated Masirewa, the son of former Fiji NZ 7s player Waisiki, and former Lelean Memorial School student Tamanivalu as bright prospects.

"Luke, who is 18 years old, was part of the team when we won the South Africa title in Port Elizabeth," Tietjens said. "He is an exciting player and he knows sevens rugby inside out.

"Seta is big, powerful and a strong player. He is another youngster at 19 years and is a player for the future."

The NZ Emerging 7s team is in FMF Foods Pool with the FMF Fiji Warriors, URF Army and Uprising 7s.





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