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Tuning Our Women Into A Crack Outfit

Chris Cracknell takes charge of the Telecom Fijiana women team for the first time in a full international tournament at the Oceania 7s Olympic qualifier in Auckland today. The former
14 Nov 2015 09:38
Tuning Our Women Into A Crack Outfit
The Telecom Fijiana team (Back Row L-R) Luisa Tisolo, Viniana Riwai, Rebecca Tavo, Timaima Tamoi, Litia Naiqato, Asinate Savo, Brittany Coates, Talica Vodo, Lavenia Tinai and Timaima Ravisa. (Middle Row L-R) Physiotherapist Jennifer Khalik, team manager Ropate Kauvesi, coach Chris Cracknell, Coach Iliesa Tanivula and Matt Dooley (Sitting L-R) Ana Roqica and Rusila Nagasau after their jersey presentation for the Oceania 7s in New Zealand.

Chris Cracknell takes charge of the Telecom Fijiana women team for the first time in a full international tournament at the Oceania 7s Olympic qualifier in Auckland today.
The former England 7s captain was named Fiji Rugby Union new coaching director of women’s rugby in September, with the Fijiana head coach duties as part of his assignment.
The women have a lot to live up to after the Vodafone Fijian 7s men claimed their place in Rio after winning 2014-15 World Sevens Series and Cracknell is aware the expectation is on them to follow suit. Fijiana missed out on automatic qualification after finishing eighth on the Women’s World Series in Netherlands.
Preparations for the Oceania 7s Olympic qualifier have gone well with a memorable 12-10 win over Australia in the final of the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea in July backed up by victory in the Plate final of the Central Coast Sevens last month.
“The girls are fit and we have been able to pick from a full squad,” Cracknell said. “There is huge expectation as ever with sevens in Fiji, however the girls are focused on their roles and the 17 members of the squad are developing into strong players and characters.
“A big emphasis we’ve worked on is control the controllables and be the best players you can be in the Fijian jersey. Their job is to bring the right attitude and leave their all on the pitch.”
Fiji will be challenged for their ticket to Rio by Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Cook Islands and Tonga.
“PNG will be very tough opponents, with a mix of pace and physicality while the Cook Islands will have a strong team with players from Australia. Samoa have a new structure in place and will certainly bring a physical edge that our girls will have to front up to,” Cracknell said.

Ben Ryan supports
Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Ben Ryan and manager Ropate Kauvesi joined the team in Auckland yesterday.
“It’s great to have the support of Ben as I’ve been fortunate to have for over 10 years of my rugby career,”Cracknell said.
“My soul focus is for the girls to be in the best place and the support of my management group Iliesa Tanivula, Jennifer Khalik and Mat Dooley has been exceptional in getting the girls to this place,” he said.
The Telecom Fijians first game against Cook Islands at 12:58pm (Fiji), Tonga at 3:34pm and Samoa at 6:10pm at the Trust Arena, Waitakere City in Auckland today.

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