Fiji Time: 3:21 AM on Tuesday 26 May

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Calm before the storm

Fred Wesley
Monday, May 25, 2015

AS we celebrate our victory at the Sevens World Series, let's do so with enthusiasm.

Because very soon the massive challenge will be before us to try and put together a strong campaign for next year's Olympic Games in Rio.

And try as you might, it will be difficult to escape the fact that the big guns of the game will be going full swing into overdrive for Rio.

There can be no doubts about the impact of the inclusion of sevens rugby in the Olympics.

It has attracted massive attention and the giants of the game will be putting all resources to ensure they are ready for the ultimate prize, the gold medal.

Teams such as the USA, England, South Africa and New Zealand, with their mega bucks, are anticipating strong campaigns.

They can afford to spend lavishly to outfit their teams. They can pay for the best in terms of preparation and quality personnel.

They can afford special training sessions and stuff that should give them the edge over other teams.

That's what we will face next year.

That is why it is imperative that our team is well prepared.

The revelation that New Zealand's Olympic sevens bid has snared Sonny Bill Williams and Liam Messam is bound to raise interest.

That and the revelation that Sir Gordon Tietjens could even have the likes of Beauden Barrett, Julian Savea, Ben Smith, Victor Vito, and Malakai Fekitoa does add strength to the Kiwis' campaign.

And indications are these players all might just say yes to going to Rio.

But it does make national coach Ben Ryan's task tougher.

This is when he will need our support to inspire him and the team. This is when the team, our team, will need to be comforted by the thought that we believe in them, and that it is important that they believe in themselves first.

When all things are said and done, the national side needs the support of the people of Fiji to perform to their highest level.

They need every available resource and support mechanism to realise their potential and live up to expectations.

The ground work must be done properly. The base must be set. And whether we like it or not, we are headed for a challenge of massive proportions.

This could well be the calm before the storm so to speak. It pays to be prepared though.

Go Fiji, go.

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