Fiji Time: 1:52 PM on Saturday 22 October

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Senior players must step up

Arin Kumar
Thursday, January 23, 2014

FORMER national assistant coach Timoci Wainiqolo believes senior players should step up and take charge at the Las Vegas 7s this weekend.

He said the HSBC Sevens World Series was getting tougher and experience could be what the team needed to get back to winning ways after the loss in the South Africa 7s tournament.

"The competition is not what it used to be before," the Fijiana coach said.

"The boys need to give their best performance and it would be up to the senior players to help the younger and new players.

"Players like Levani (Botia) and Osea (Kolinisau) have the experience and know what needs to be done in situations like these."

Wainiqolo said Fiji's pool might look daunting but confidence was a factor that could get the team through.

"Playing against teams like New Zealand and Australia in pool stages is good for the boys and would give them the kind of competition they need before they get to the elimination stages.

"We usually play Australia and New Zealand in the quarter-final or semi-finals or the final, so this would be a different challenge for them.

"I would like to wish them all the best and hope that they bring back with them the Las Vegas 7s title."

The Fiji 7s team reached Las Vegas on Monday and got straight to work preparing for the tournament.

Coach Ben Ryan said the first thing was resting and adjusting to the time difference in the US.

"It takes time to adjust to the travel and so next couple of days are about resetting the body clock and getting energy up," he said.

He added they had two training sessions and will continue with the trend and fit in gym sessions and a light run in the afternoon.

"Training twice — already had a gym session and light rugby session this afternoon," he said on Tuesday.

The players were engaged in a different form of gym sessions where they had to push a sledge and truck tyre.

Ryan uploaded two videos on Twitter to show the hard yards being done by the players during training.

He added the players were also adjusting to the weather and there was no major concern in term of injuries.

"It's dry but quite hot. Boys are fine.

"Every team has niggles but nothing serious."

Fiji is 10 points behind HSBC Sevens World Series leaders New Zealand who have 58 points. South Africa is second with 56 points.

The Kolinisau-captained side takes on Scotland in their first pool game at 1:06pm and then Australia at 4:02pm on Saturday.

Their final pool clash is against New Zealand at 9.50am on Sunday.

Fiji 7s team: Osea Kolinisau, Pio Tuwai, Levani Botia, Semi Kunatani, Benito Masilevu, Leo Naikasau, Samu Saqiwa, Henry Seniloli, Emosi Mulevoro, Donasio Ratubuli, Jona Tuitoga, Samisoni Viriviri.

Officials: Ben Ryan (coach), Paula Biu (manager), William Kwoong (Physio).

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