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Officer Crilly turns Fiji fan

Rashneel Kumar
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

STEVE Crilly became the fan of Fiji Sevens after helping the national side last year as the team's liaison officer in the Wellington 7s.

The New Zealander is back this year to help the team with logistics as the Timoci Wainiqolo-coached side winds up its preparation for the tournament this weekend.

"They are the rock stars of sevens. Back in 70s and 80s, no one can beat them as they were one of the most feared teams in 7s rugby," Crilly said when asked why he chose the Fiji team.

"This is my second year as a liaison officer and I'm enjoying it."

Crilly said when Fiji took on New Zealand in last year's Wellington 7s final, he was rooting for Fiji to win.

He said the Fiji team members were very accommodating and made him feel like one of them.

"I'm now a Fiji fan after spending last year with them and they welcomed me to their culture," Crilly said.

"When they played New Zealand in the final, I didn't see them (the New Zealand team) as New Zealand.

"I saw them as my opposition because they were Fiji's opponents."

Crilly, who was the All Blacks 7s training squad member in 1980s, said there were a lot of new faces in the Fijian side and it would be down to their performance on the day to seal the outcome.

"I don't know a lot about the team this year apart from the two players from last year that I recognise," he said.

"There are a lot of young players around so it's all on the day and the bounce of the ball.

"On the personal note, I'm also a coach so looking forward to learn few coaching tips while with the team," Crilly said.

The Digicel Fiji 7s team players are settling in as they acclimatise to the Wellington weather before the HSBC Sevens World Series, the Hertz Sevens in Wellington on February 1-2.

According to coach Timoci Wainiqolo they are working to improve on the players' performance from last year.

They had a recovery session and blowout session yesterday afternoon.


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