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Fiji Time: 6:50 PM on Tuesday 2 September

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Wrong option

Rashneel Kumar, In Wellington
Sunday, February 03, 2013

LEADING International Rugby Board sevens (IRB) commentator Nigel Starmer-Smith believes Fiji simply "messed up with the selection" for the shocking performance in the Wellington 7s.

The former England player said the national side should focus on continuity rather than changing the players after each leg of the IRB 7s series.

Starmer-Smith said the national coaches should have maintained the squad from Gold Coast and build on that especially with the Rugby World Cup 7s in June this year.

"I think they have to think a bit more logically and say 'right we have got 15 or 17 players and just leave it there and build it up," the 68-year-old said.

"It is just bemusing to me and I think so to everyone else to see them performing this way.

"Okay, look out for the next best talent but beyond that, build on a winning combination. Continuity has to be of something."

Starmer-Smith, who played for England from 1969 to 1971 as a scrum-half, said while Fijian players had the best of the skills, team work was important to register big wins.

He said players like skipper Setefano Cakau tried hard to hold the team together but poor combination did not allow the team work to prevail on the field.

"The individual talent is terrific. We know that they have got the best individual players in the world of 7s but it's difficult to think they are the best 12," Starmer-Smith said.

"I thought they started on so well (in Gold Coast), so build on that.

"I love the Fijian 7s style and somehow it just upsets me. It's being wasted this season."


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