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Fiji Time: 11:33 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Mata's 7s series debut

Rodney Duthie In Wellington
Friday, February 07, 2014

VILIAME Mata has big shoes to fill and lately, he has impressed many at training including coach Ben Ryan.

Mata, a former rugby league player who now plays for Davetalevu, has put in the hard yards as he contests for a place in the starting line-up.

Coming in for injured Pio Tuwai, Mata makes his world series debut at the Westpac Stadium.

"Vili's been great since he's come in. It's pretty nervous for him; it's a big tournament here in Wellington.

"I've seen players buckle under the pressure in Wellington, including England," Ryan said.

"For Vili, I've tried to press upon him to play his normal game.

"He has been selected as one of the best sevens players in Fiji.

"He's had no background as far as representative rugby goes and playing for one of the big sevens team he's done very well to come out of the shadows."

Whether Mata buckles under the pressure will be known soon.