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Ryan wants local players

Maciu Malo In Nacula, Yasawa
Sunday, February 23, 2014

VODAFONE Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan is opting for local players to represent the country at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Speaking at the Turtle Vodafone Nacula 7s tournament yesterday, Ryan said there was a need to generate more talented players to replace those that had been snatched by overseas rugby clubs.

Unlike in previous years when former national 7s coaches used to rely on overseas players, Ryan said he preferred to contract and prepare local players for the Olympics.

He said that although Fiji 7s would suffer a huge blow with the absence of flyer Samisoni Viriviri at the end of the series, he preferred local players to be prepared for the world games.

"At the moment we are focusing on local players to represent Fiji at the Olympics," he said.

"For the overseas players to be in the team they might have to surrender their contracts and be in the country at the start of the year so they can be contracted for the 7s team.

"I think the FRU is thinking of contracting 7s layers for the Olympics likewise for future 7s tournaments."

Meanwhile, Ryan said the national team was capable of improving its standing in the HSBC IRB 7s series for the season.

He said the side needed to win the next two legs of the IRB 7s series to stand a chance of winning the series.

"It's a long way to go in terms of winning the series as we are under 20 points if we can lower that, but we need to do well in Japan and Hong Kong 7s."

Ryan said two changes would be made to the national 7s team that participated at the Wellington 7s early this month.

Ryan said some of the players undergoing rehabilitation are skipper Osea Kolinisau, Pio Tuwai, Leo Naikasau and Jona Tuitoga.

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