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Fiji Time: 7:17 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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Fiji braces for tough Australians

Arin Kumar
Thursday, December 05, 2013

DIGICEL Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan is anticipating a tough clash against Australia this weekend in South Africa.

Australia will be Fiji's first opponent during the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s at the Port Elizabeth Bay Stadium.

"Game One on Saturday is Australia — a side that are playing very well coached by one of the best in the game, Michael O'Conner," Ryan told fru.com.

"It's as tough a start as we could have had and any slipping off our professionalism off the field will give us a tough weekend."

The two sides last met earlier this year at the Glasgow 7s in May in Scotland where the Fijians had to struggle and scrape their way through to a 19-17 victory.

Fiji's other opponents in Pool A are Scotland and France.

Fiji beat Scotland 26-14 last weekend in Dubai but against France in their last meeting at the Wellington 7s in February this year, Fiji again sneaked away with a 19-17 victory.

Ryan is expecting the same performance from the three opponents but is optimistic of Fiji's chances because a lot has changed since last season.

"All our group opponents are very good teams," he told Times Sport.

"The stats from last season are last season and very few players are in the squad now were involved then as well as those opposing teams also having personnel changes."

He added that they must not get ahead of themselves after the Dubai 7s win and work even harder in this tournament.

"I'm sure everyone on the islands had a great weekend supporting the boys to victory — the stadium had an amazing feel to it as our performances gained new Fijian fans around the world," Ryan added.

"Those sort of weekends reminds everyone why we work so hard to have days like those.

"However, we have much to improve on to get the best out of the potential we have so keep your feet on the ground and realise the competition will all be out to get us and that everyone needs to see this is a vision that stretches way beyond one weekend of rugby.

"Thank you all for your support — the boys will give it their all again this weekend."