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Hope for Tinai

Tom Smith
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vodafone Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan will name the squad for the last leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series tomorrow morning.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Ryan also confirmed former national rep Ilai Tinai won't be back in the squad for the next two events.

However, he was quick to stress Tinai might get a shot at the 2014/2015 series.

"Ilai Tinai won't be selected for the next two tournaments, I watched him play in Nawaka at the weekend and he went pretty well," said Ryan.

"He said himself he now has competition from Vatemo Ravouvou coming into the squad as a playmaker as well as Oscar (Osea Kolinisau) playing there.

"I like Ilai and it sounds like he has learnt his lesson now, and he'll get the same chance as everybody else (next season)."

Ryan, 42, seemed happy with his squad and believes they have the opportunity to succeed in the upcoming fixtures.

"We've picked the squad of 18 and there's only one new cap (Ropate Labalaba), so we will wait and see whether he can make the 12," he said.

"I'm trying to pick a consistent side here and they are all in the squad on form and merit and fully deserve their place."

Only a few players are on the injury list and didn't train and Ryan is optimistic they will all soon be available for selection.

"We have four or five injured but they are being monitored and will all be fine."

Semi Kunatani and Samisoni Viriviri trained lightly at the Uprising Beach Resort grounds yesterday while Pio Tuwai and Joeli Lutumailagi completely sat out the session. Former captain Setefano Cakau was nowhere to be seen.

Ryan is praying all his players get their visas approved to avoid any last minute changes.

"The visas were all done on Tuesday, so I'm hoping the British Embassy over here can fast-track those through and there won't be any issues before we board the plane to Seoul (South Korea) next Friday."

The Glasgow 7s tournament will be held on May 3 and 4 and will be followed by the London 7s the week after.





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