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Search for Rio

Rashneel Kumar
Thursday, March 06, 2014

THE Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan says there won't be any special treatment given to the overseas-based players eyeing for a place in the national side for the Olympic Games in 2016.

With some former national 7s stars back in the country for the 38th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament which starts tomorrow at the ANZ Stadium, Ryan will be on the lookout for potential players to represent the country at the Rio Games.

Former Fiji 7s skipper Setefano Cakau, Jone Vota, Joeli Lutumailagi, Metuisela Talebula and Alipate Raitini are some players expected to play in the domestic 7s tournaments including the Marist 7s.

When this newspaper asked Ryan what he expected from the overseas-based players vying for a place in the national team for the Rio Games, he said "same as any of the local players".

"To show that they are standout performers that have the right attitude and are prepared to work hard.

"The search for Rio began when I started my job here. Every tournament in Fiji gives a player a chance to be seen and scouted."

Ryan, who is looking forward to his first Marist 7s tournament, also has high expectations on the players' part of the extended squad preparing for the Asian leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series this month.

He will name his 16-member squad for Japan and Hong Kong 7s this Saturday.

Ryan also said he would not be helping any team in the Marist 7s because "I will be busy watching all the games I can over the two days".

"To see the current squad players play well and I'll be picking on form.

"Looking forward to my first Marist 7s and hope we get no injuries and see lots of high class rugby!"

Meanwhile, the International Rugby Board has announced the dates for the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series.

The top four-ranked nations from the upcoming series will qualify directly for the Olympic Games.

HSBC Sevens World Series 2014/15

Round 1 Australia (Gold Coast) 11-12 Oct 2014

Round 2 Dubai 5-6 Dec 2014

Round 3 South Africa (Port Elizabeth) 13-14 Dec 2014

Round 4 New Zealand (Wellington) 6-7 Feb 2015

Round 5 US (Las Vegas) 13-15 Feb 2015

Round 6 Hong Kong 27-29 Mar 2015

Round 7 Japan (Tokyo) 4-5 Apr 2015

Round 8 Scotland (Glasgow) 9-10 May 2015

Round 9 England (London) 16-17 May 2015

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