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Barbarians On A Mission

Barbarians On  A Mission
September 29
11:59 2017

Vodafone Fijian Barbarians 7s skipper Paula Dranisinukala said although they’re gunning to win the Oktoberfest 7s tournament there are also wary of other challenges as well.

Speaking during their training session in Munich, Germany yesterday, Dranisinukula said they’re going to face a tough time against South Africa, England, France, Australia and Argentina.

“We’re going for a win nothing else,” he said.

But they need to win their pool games against Ireland at 11.23pm tonight, Chile at 3.15am and Australia at 5am.  The Aussies, under coach Andy Friend, has included Jeral Skelton, Ben O’Donnell, Maurice Longbottom and Matthew Hood.

Friend is giving the quartet a crack at the top level.

“I was really impressed with Jeral and he’s been going really well on the training track so he has earned this chance,” he said.

“Benny has been with us for a while now and he’s been working so hard to get his chance. Maurice Longbottom is a guy I’m really excited about.

“His acceleration off the mark is unbelievable and he’s always able to find holes. We just need to get him the ball in some space and he’ll show what he’s capable of.”

Meanwhile, England sevens head coach Simon Amor is hoping the Oktoberfest 7s will prove the ideal springboard ahead of the World Sevens Series and a perfect opportunity to blood a string of new players.

Amor named an inexperienced 12-man squad for the inaugural invitational sevens tournament.

Leading the side is Will Edwards, who made his world series debut in Vancouver last season, when he inspired England to a 19-17 victory against South Africa to win the second round of the tournament.

Fergus Guiry and Lailand Gordon – who both won silver with Team England at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas this summer – will also travel to Germany alongside Ethan Waddleton, who makes his first return to competition since injury at the Hong Kong 7s in March.

And Amor is targeting the tournament as a vital building block ahead of the world series, which kicks off in Dubai on December 1 as England look to better their second-place finish in last year’s competition.

“As the first international, invitational tournament of the season, this is the first step on the ladder for many of these young players,” said Amor.

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