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Strong base

Rashneel Kumar
Friday, August 29, 2014

VODAFONE Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan is working on strategies to suit the areas we are strong in leading up to the opening tournament of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series in the Gold Coast, Australia in October.

After the fitness test this week, Ryan named his 30-member training squad which will march into camp at Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour on Monday.

He was pleased with the lower body strength of the players.

Ryan said the "leg strength" of the players was much better than most of the English players he had come across.

"That's with very little gym experience. So I think if we get them regularly in the gym, I think we can really improve on what is already a very strong area," Ryan said.

"Our backline is probably stronger than most backline in the world from power base and our forwards probably need a bit more work done particularly in things like chin up and bench press.

"They are very strong in their lower legs and I guess that's because most of the rugby training done in Fiji is running around and probably the hard work they have done off the field as well."

Ryan said the lower body strength would help the team in the contact area and also in breaking tackles.

"Also being able to make sure that you come out on top, footwork as well and leg endurance," he added.

"If you got a good and strong base, you can turn that into power so we got some powerful athletes. Some of their vertical jump scores were excellent too."

Ryan retained 10 players from the 2013/14 season which include skipper Osea Kolinisau, Apisai Domolailai, Pio Tuwai, Emosi Mulevoro, Jasa Veremalua, Samuela Saqiwa, Semi Kunatani, Vatemo Ravouvou, Viliame Mata and Waisea Nacuqu.

Notable exclusion from the side is Joeli Lutumailagi and Leo Naikasau who failed to attend the fitness test.

Ryan said Lutumailagi called later to explain his reasons for failing to attend the test which was "not good enough" to be considered.

A host of former national reps have forced their way into the team. They include Apisalome Waqatabu, Ilai Tinai, Isake Katonibau, Isikeli Vuruna, Manueli Laqai, Nasoni Roko, Niko Verekauta and Sitiveni Waqa.

Ryan said veteran Emosi Vucago and Ropate Labalaba missed the cut because of intense competition for the halfback position.

"When you look at it, we already got Emosi Mulevoro, (Waisea) Nacuqu, Jerry Tuwai, Emenoni (Nasilasila) and (Emori) Waqa who was with the 15s team as well. So we got a strong group. We're leaving out some good players which means there is a competition."

Ryan confirmed former skipper Setefano Cakau would be included in the team when he arrives back in the country early next month.

Fiji 7s 30-member squad - Apisai Naqaliva, Apimeleki Mocekula, Apisai Domolailai, Apisalome Waqatabu, Emenoni Nasilasila, Emori Waqa, Emosi Mulevoro, Eremasi Radrodro, Etuate Qio, Ilai Tinai, Isake Katonibau, Isikeli Vuruna, Jasa Veremalua, Jerry Tuwai, Jone Qorovarua, Manueli Laqai, Nasoni Roko, Niko Verekauta, Osea Kolinisau, Pio Tuwai, Sanivalati Ramuwai, Samuela Saqiwa, Savenaca Rawaca, Semi Kunatani, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Sitiveni Waqa, Sunia Vosikata, Vatemo Ravouvou, Viliame Mata, Waisea Nacuqu

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