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Rashneel Kumar
Friday, March 14, 2014

VODAFONE Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan says the team he will name today will be good enough to compete effectively in the "two big tournaments" in the Asian leg of the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.

He has also indicated the core of the team that featured in the last leg of the series would be retained.

Ryan said he would take players that were 100 per cent fit and not carrying any injuries.

"I can't take a player that might be a regular and playing very well but he's got injury that means he is not 100 per cent then I got to take someone else," he said.

"I'm going to pick on form and the boys that are training have put in the hard yards and that is very important.

"We will get that mix right as well because we need to sustain two big tournaments in Tokyo and Hong Kong and in Tokyo, we are not getting there in time to get over the jetlag and its cold compared to here.

"The boys will come into Hong Kong tired so I got to make sure I use the squad appropriately so we are not all burned out coming into Hong Kong."

Ryan said with experienced players such as Setefano Cakau and Joeli Lutumailagi back in the squad, he had some "sleepless nights" in making the final decision.

"Apisai Domolailai and Jasa Veremalua, these boys are looking good as well and with Setefano Cakau doing well, its gives me headaches because you got Benito (Masilevu) in the forwards as well and Leo Naikasau who can play in the forwards and in the backs as well.

"That's the area there could be a lot of change because of injuries but now the boys are hitting form there as well."

Prop Semi Kunatani, who suffered a groin strain, was excused from the training yesterday to undergo a scan test while Waisea Nacuqu watched the training from the sideline because of similar injury.

Robust Joeli Lutumailagi struggled with the back injury he sustained at the 38th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s while Pio Tuwai and Samu Saqiwa looked OK.

"Its very difficult for someone that has come into the squad like Jerry Tuwai, he has come in and he's immediately got to impress," Ryan said.

"These boys have been training with me for a few months now so their fitness level are much higher than those that are coming in and it's very noticeable.

The national team for the Japan and Hong Kong 7s will be named at 6.30pm tonight at MHCC ground floor.





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