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Fiji Time: 1:30 PM on Wednesday 17 September

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Sevens plan

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, May 15, 2014

THE contracting of players will strengthen Fiji's bid to win the next HSBC Sevens World Series, according to team manager Paula Biu.

The Vodafone national 7s team returned from England yesterday after finishing third in the 2013/2014 series.

Biu said many things had to be done for the new season and the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He said countries such as New Zealand, Australia and England had full-time contracted 7s players.

"A lot of things are to be done not only for the next series but our road to Rio," the former Nadroga and national 15s rep said.

"We are now liaising closely with the current board to contract at least 21 players so it will be easy for us to get them to start with the off-season programs and monitor and supervise them.

"Other teams like New Zealand, Australia and England have contracted players. But if you see the results against New Zealand in Glasgow and London, then our 12 uncontracted players did very well.

"So if we contract the players and monitor them, then they can produce much better results in the next season."

The team arrived minus coach Ben Ryan who stayed back in England for personal reasons. The players have been given a six- week break.

Team captain Osea Kolinisau said they had set a good platform for the new season despite failing to win the final two tournaments in England and Scotland.

"It is very important to get ready in the off-season because that is the foundation.

"It is a gruelling series and needs a lot of concentration. It is not 15s, 7s is a faster game so you have to be fit in the off-season going into the new season," he said.

New Zealand claimed the 2013/2014 series finishing ahead of South Africa. The 2014/2015 series will start with the Gold Coast 7s in Australia from October 11-12.