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Narrow pitch

Rashneel Kumar
Friday, January 10, 2014

FIJI 7s coach Ben Ryan is conditioning players to play on a narrow pitch.

Sam Boyd Stadium, the host of the Las Vegas 7s tournament which will be held from January 24 to 26, has the narrowest field in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The scarcity of space will be the biggest challenge for the participating teams and Ryan is working on a game plan to use that to Fiji's advantage.

During the training run at the Uprising Resort ground in Deuba yesterday, Ryan marked the field with the Sam Boyd Stadium width.

He said they would do similar training to prepare for the battle at the Cake Tin in the Wellington 7s early next month.

"This is to give them some idea of the lack of space on the Vegas field," Ryan said.

"I'm sure other teams will put some hard work in.

"It's only two games a day in Vegas because it's a three-day tournament which means that there will be plenty of rest periods for teams so there will be some very close games and we got a very hard group too," Ryan said.

Fiji is grouped with New Zealand, Australia and Scotland in Pool B of the Las Vegas 7s.

Ryan will be naming his 16-member squad today which is expected to have the players that were part of the second leg of the series in Dubai and South Africa late last year.

The only exclusion from the victorious Dubai 7s side is nippy halfback Waisea Nacuqu, who is unavailable after joining the Prisons recruit training program.

"People have seen what we can do in Dubai so we no longer will be surprising anyone.

"The quality is there with a pretty young squad in world series term," he said.

Fiji plays its first game against Scotland and than faces Australia.

In the final group match Fiji will battle arch-rivals New Zealand.