Tough battle

COMPETITION for a final spot in the team to the Rio Olympics has become tougher after the success of the rugby 7s team at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

With most of the fringe players having had game time in Papua New Guinea, the gold medal feat has put 7s playmaker Osea Kolinisau on alert.

“They played really well at the Pacific Games, achieving what they wanted to and the win is a major boost and a good stepping stone to the coming series and the upcoming Olympics,” Kolinisau said.

“It’s good for the team to have healthy competition because then you’ll just have to take the best available players when the tournament happens.”

He added that with coach Ben Ryan giving a clear indication that selection was still wide open as they prepare for the Olympics, the onus was on individual players to deliver.

“For me personally it is a challenge because the players did well at the Pacific Games. It has just given me another goal to work hard when I saw how they played. It reminded me that there is a lot of talent available and I have to work harder to try and maintain a position in the team,” he said.

Kolinisau had yesterday attended the Hilton Early Intervention Centre at Brown St, Suva in support of the campaign co-ordinated by Miss World Fiji contestant Sukanika Qaqa in her bid to create awareness and support children with special needs as part of her beauty with a purpose theme.

In addressing the children, Kolinisau said they served as an inspiration to many to have to stand strong amid the difficulties that they had to face, He also commended the efforts that the teachers had placed in ensuring the children at the intervention centre were well cared for.

“I can say that you are heroes. Anybody can play 7s rugby but not a lot of people can give out their time and take care of children with special needs like you have,” he said.

The first leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series begins with the Dubai 7s scheduled for December 4-5 and the South Africa 7s from December 12-13.

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