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Gold prep on

Rashneel Kumar
Monday, July 07, 2014

THE Fiji Rugby Union wants to start its 2016 Olympic Games campaign with the gold medal win in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in China next month.

Fiji will be represented in the second summer YOG which will be held from August 16 to 28 in Nanjing.

IRB earlier announced the six men's and six women's under-18 teams competing in the youth version of the prestigious Olympic Games.

Japan, France, Argentina, Kenya, Fiji and the US will compete for gold in the men's competition while Canada, China, Spain, Australia, Tunisia and US will battle for top honours in the women's event.

On paper, Fiji has an advantage over the other competing nations given its experience in the shortened code.

But FRU development manager Sale Sorovaki said no teams could be underestimated in this games.

"Well, I guess the aim going into the Youth Olympic Games is to win and I know it will be a big occasion for most of these young kids," Sorovaki said.

"Most of them will probably be travelling for the first time out of Fiji and it's a great opportunity for them to be playing against the players from other nations."

Sorovaki said the YOG would help national 7s coach Ben Ryan understand what was expected at the Olympics level.

"It will also give Ben Ryan a forecast of what he has in store for his 7s team in (lead up to) the Rio Games and it's also a great opportunity for these players to showcase what they have and probably later on push for a spot in the 7s squad."

Sorovaki said the 12-member national side to be coached by Ryan would be finalised this week.

He said the team would be dominated by secondary school players.

Sorovaki said the players' performances were monitored in the weekly secondary schools competition and the club games.

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