Fiji Time: 12:16 PM on Wednesday 7 October

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In high spirits

Arin Kumar
Saturday, April 05, 2014

THE Fijiana side is ready to face the best in the world when the China leg of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series starts today in Guangzhou.

The Telecom-sponsored side faces last season's runner-up England in their first pool match at 3.50pm then takes on current series leaders Australia at 6.12pm and finally Ireland at 9.18pm.

Team manager Selita Koroi said since their arrival on Monday, the team had settled in well despite some hiccups.

"The weather is wet and cold for us with temperatures ranging from 18 degrees Celsius to 22 degrees with heavy rain and thunderstorms at least twice or three times a day," she said.

"Whilst we are good with rain, the cold is something the girls need to get used to, especially if we are not properly geared for cold weather.

"The team left Suva without any proper warm gear due to an order muck-up, so we had to buy jackets here in Guangzhou just to keep us warm until the FRU/KooGa gear arrives this afternoon (Thursday)."

The side did not play any warm-up matches in Guangzhou because coach Iliesa Tanivula was working on defence patterns.

"So all coach has been working on with the girls is analysing the games of the teams we are pooled with and identifying strengths and 'work ons' on both Fiji and the opponents.

"The team is in high spirits despite the hiccups we faced along the way prior to coming here.

"The girls are injury-free and constantly reminded of the importance of eating right and resting well — that has been at the top of the agenda by the management team."

Koroi said the team was touched by a visit from a group of Fijian ladies known as the Blue Wiggers who are always at tournaments cheering on the Fiji men's 7s side team.

"They were accompanied by a very generous and big-hearted Malaysian/Fijian couple who reside here in Guangzhou, Richard Leong and his wife Nunia.

"Richard and Nunia are both ardent fans of Fiji rugby and with their kind heart, they opened up their home to the team to get our extra laundry done since the weather has been terrible and we needed to recycle our training clothes quickly to enable the girls to wear dry clean training gear to both training sessions of the day," Koroi said.

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