7 October, 2014, 12:00 am
VODAFONE Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan does not feel any pressure with the all-important 2014/2015 HSBC Sevens World Series starting at Gold Coast this weekend.
The top four finishers in the 2014/2015 series will earn direct entry to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The national team, which left the country on Saturday, is without four of the six regulars from last season.
Ryan said they had reasonable preparation time for Gold Coast 7s.
He said the new season would be exciting.
“If you look at last season’s team, there were six regulars,” Ryan said.
“In the forwards there were Pio Tuwai, Benito Masilevu and in the backs were Emosi Mulevoro, Osea Kolinisau, Donasio Ratubuli and Samisoni Viriviri. Out of that six, four will not be at the Gold Coast tournament.
“To lose four of your starting seven is bit significant. But I’m confident that these boys will step up.
“I think this team will be better than across last year’s whole season. But I don’t expect them to be suddenly perfect at Gold Coast.
“I don’t feel the pressure because I just do as good a job as I can do. If it is brilliant then it is good enough we win the World Series and qualify for the Olympic Games.
“If I think if I was cutting corners and not doing the job seriously then I would be feeling the pressure.
“But I’m confident with the boys and I’m excited about the year. I’m sure I will be nervous along the touchlines in the first couple of games. Over the year I think we will be successful.”
Fiji will play Scotland in its opening pool match at 2.02pm followed by Portugal at 5.23pm and Australia in its final pool match at 9.01pm on Saturday.
A total of nine tournaments will be part of the World Series which will move to Dubai (December 5-6) after this.
Gold Coast: Pool A-New Zealand, Samoa, France, Japan; Pool B-South Africa, Wales, Kenya, American Samoa; Pool C-Fiji Australia, Scotland, Portugal; Pool D-England, Canada, Argentina, United States.
South Africa (December 13-14), New Zealand (February 6-7), United States (February 13-15), Hong Kong (March 27-29) Japan (April 4-5), Scotland (May 9-10) and England (May 16-17) are the other host nations.