TIMOCI Wainiqolo is instilling the fear factor in the Digicel Fiji Sevens side ahead of the Wellington 7s which starts on Friday at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.
The Fijian players are known for their brutal tackles but have become vulnerable lately as smaller nations seem to have overcome the fear factor to upset Fiji on numerous occasions.
Wainiqolo, who was part of one of the most feared national teams in the late 1980s and early 90s, is telling players not to leave their men this weekend.
He said they wanted the players to show aggressiveness on the field and beat their opponents psychologically before downing them in the scores. Wainiqolo assured the newcomers would not be hesitant to put their body on the line to secure crucial wins in the third leg of the 2012/13 HSBC IRB Sevens World Series.
"We have been telling the boys to tackle everything hard that comes in front of them. There are new and young boys in the team but they will be very different (in their approach)," he said.
Fiji 7s team liaison officer, Steve Crilly said the national team had lost the fear factor which was one of our X-factors in the past.
Crilly, who was part of the New Zealand 7s training squad almost three decades ago, remembers how tough Fijian players were.
"When Fiji lost to Tonga in the pool play at last year's Wellington 7s, I told the then Fiji coach (Etuate Waqa) that fear factor in the team was not there anymore," Crilly said.
"Before, other team players were hesitant to tackle Fijian players as they were afraid they might get injured."
The Setefano Cakau-skippered side starts its campaign against Scotland at 1.50pm followed by the clash with the Australians at 4.46pm. Fiji plays Portugal in its final pool match at 8.34pm.