THINGS seem to have worked out as national coach Alivereti Dere had initially planned and that is to get as much exposure as possible for players in the national sevens squad.
Now three new men are getting a baptism of fire in the cauldron of sevens rugby, the Hong Kong Sevens — where heroes are birthed overnight and they become household names forever.
I remember going to Hong Kong in 1991 and the Chinese fans were still asking for Honda — Etuate Gusuivalu — who was the star attraction in 1984 when Fiji beat New Zealand 26-0.
New reps Sakiusa Gavidi and Emosi Mulevoro could be another budding halves combination for the future when given the chance to develop their game.
They have shown in last year's Digicel Cup and Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy matches that cheekiness of play that is developed from an attitude of believing in themselves and having no respect of reputation of their opposition.
Gavidi, a former under-20 rep, was Nadroga's first choice halfback last year in the absence of Emosi Vucago and Mulevoro was the Suva hero who kicked the capital city's points when they wrested the challenge trophy from Nadroga.
But at the moment they will have to warm the bench as experienced players are likely to get the big games and make the first line-up.
Samisoni Viriviri is the other halfback and playmaker is Ilai Tinai and if Viriviri is needed at wing where he had excelled in Las Vegas recently, then Gavidi could get an early run.
But if Benito Eremasi gets to run on the wing then Viriviri might stay on halfback.
The halfback position is an important one as he is the guy that runs back to be the last man on defence when the opposition is in possession.
Viriviri has proven that he can take the crunch at fullback while Gavidi is yet to show his capabilities in defence in sevens.
Coach Dere has many chances of trying out different combinations in the backline as Ilai Tinai can play in all position and has proven to be a sound rover.
Osea Kolinisau is back and he will have the thrust to ignite the attack in moments of disorganisation of play.
He is a rugged tackler and has worked very hard to return to the Fiji jersey.
Donasio Ratubuli is the other new kid on the block and he is still an unknown to many Fiji fans.
But being able to make it to the squad of 16 then to the final 12-member squad says a lot in the confidence Dere has in him.
The absence of skipper Setefano Cakau makes it easier for the team management to select the forwards to include Leone Nakarawa, Jone Vota and Jasa Veremalua in the squad.
Fiji is expected to win more balls in the lineouts and kick-offs with Nakarawa there and his partnership with Nemani Nagusa and Ulaiasi Lawavou makes it one of the heaviest sevens forward pack to date.
This team does not have a star in the likes of try-scoring machine Joji Ragamate and could be considered average by comparison to other Fijian teams that have left our shores for Hong Kong.
The further blow was the injury of skipper Setefano Cakau. We are going without two proven game breakers.
The onus is now on Ilai Tinai to make the moves and create scoring chances from playmaker.
He has been in the shadow of Ragamate in the last couple of tournaments as Ragamate had virtually been the halfback/playmaker.
This team should not be overconfident and ride in the reputation of past Fijian teams in Hong Kong, neither should they underestimate themselves.
Going the full length in the semi-final against New Zealand and then into extra time, as well as another extra time play with Samoa in the third place play-off, says volumes for the team's fitness.
Now that our High Performance Unit manager is a fitness guru himself we should not be too worried about that department.
There are no big stars in the side and the only thing going for them is that seven players have been playing together in Wellington and Las Vegas and form the core of the team.
When we look back at Hong Kong Sevens history only the names of players in the winning teams live on in the memory of Fijian rugby fans but losers become the also-ran, as in horseracing.
No one else will come and create history for this team but only themselves.
Thousands of Fiji fans back home will be glued to the television live coverage on Fiji One and the country will be at a standstill.
The World Cup maybe played in Russia later this year but at the moment our chance of winning there depends a lot on how this team performs in Hong Kong.
A good performance in Hong Kong will be the positive to boost our campaign in Russia.