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Ryan's pick

Rashneel Kumar
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

VODAFONE Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan has reiterated the team for the opening leg of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series would be purely based on form.

With some big names set to attend the first fitness test today at the HPU Gym in Suva, Ryan said performance of the players would top the selection criteria.

He is hoping to select a good mix of players for the opening tournament of the series in Gold Coast, Australia on October 11 and 12.

Former Fiji 7s reps Setefano Cakau, Nasoni Roko, Sailosi Rabonaqica, Niko Verekauta, Sitiveni Waqa, Emosi Vucago, Apisalome Waqatabu, Isake Katonibau and Isikeli Vuruna are among the big names expected to attend the fitness test.

"Nasoni Roko has been playing really well last month or so in the Skipper Cup and still looks like he is physically able to do that," Ryan said.

"But I have said all along that I will pick on form."

Ryan said the fitness test would give him an opportunity to see the ability of the former national reps.

Areas to be tested during the beep test include anaerobic fitness test, speed, power and strength testing.

Ryan said those who were in the team last year had to show their worth to be considered again for the national duties.

He added his toughest task would be to find suitable replacements for 2013/14 IRB 7s Player of the Year Samisoni Viriviri, Benito Masilevu and Donasio Ratubuli who have joined French clubs.

"They going to be hard to replace certainly and 7s world player of the year, they just don't grow on the trees and to replace Samisoni, lets be realistic about it, its not going to happen overnight," he said.

"We need to find players in the first instance who are capable of playing international 7s in those positions and then I can give time to flower and get better.

"That has to be guys that I can rely on to do a good job and also the ones I think got rooms to improve on."

Ryan also said he would not rush into handing the contracts to the players.

So far Osea Kolinisau, Pio Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu and Emosi Mulevoro are the only players who have been offered contracts.

"Certainly not going to rush in on anything at the moment but I hope by the time we get around Dubai, most of the boys that are picked will be getting full time contracts," Ryan said.

"It's up to them (players) to show a bit of self management so they get themselves to the training ground.

"The bottom line is some of these boys haven't got a job at the moment and they can be earning a full time contract in a week or so."

Vodafone Fiji 7s Team - Pio Tuwai, Viliame Mata, Apisai Domolailai, Semi Kunatani, Setefano Cakau, Nasoni Roko, Emosi Mulevoro, Waisea Nacuqu, Vatemo Ravovou, Osea Kolinisau, Sanivalati Ramuwai, Joeli Lutumailagi, Jone Qorovarua (Yamacia), Apilameki Mocekula (Yamacia), Mosese Mawalu (Yamacia), Ilai Tinai (Wardens), Eroni Sau (Red Rock), Sailosi Rabonaqica (Nadroga), Ropate Labalaba (Yamacia), Niko Verekauta, Keponi Paul (Police), Samuela Saqiwa, Jasa Veramalua, Sevuloni Mocenacagi (Yamacia), Sitiveni Waqa, Leo Naikasau, Jone Vota, Emori Waqa, Jerry Tuwai, Eminoni Nasilasila, Setefano Rasekaia, Emosi Vucago, Apisalome Waqatabu, Isake Katonibau (Army), Isikeli Vuruna (Army), Eremasi Radrodro (Daveta), Levani Kurimudu (Daveta), Luke Navuwai (Yamacia), Savenaca Rawaca (Nadroga), Apisai Naqalevu, Sunia Vosikata (Nadi).

East-based players are to report to the HPU Gym in Suva today at 10am. West-based players are to report to the HPU Gym in Nadroga tomorrow at 10am. For any further queries please do not hesitate to contact Paula Biu on 9775943.

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