SPORTS

From Dubai To Uprising

  Jeremy Manning, the Abu Dhabi-based personal trainer, flew to Fiji last night to rejoin the coaching staff of the back-to-back World Sevens Series champions- Vodafone Fijian 7s team. The
18 Jun 2016 10:32
From Dubai To Uprising
Jeremy Manning with Vodafone Fijian 7s players (from left), Kitione Taliga, Osea Kolinisau, Alivereti Veitokani and Vatemo Ravouvou in 2015.

 

Jeremy Manning, the Abu Dhabi-based personal trainer, flew to Fiji last night to rejoin the coaching staff of the back-to-back World Sevens Series champions- Vodafone Fijian 7s team.

The former Abu Dhabi Harlequins head coach was with them at a number of the 2015/16 World Sevens Series tournaments this season as their specialist kicking coach.

According to The National, he is now heading to Uprising Beach Resort, the team’s training centre, to help hone their preparations for their medal bid at August’s Rio Games.

Manning is unlikely to be part of the Vodafone Fijians coaching staff at the Olympic Games, but acknowledged he would drop all his work commitments if the chance to be with them in Rio did come to pass.

“I am just super stoked to be involved with the Olympic set-up,” Manning said before he left Abu Dhabi.

“I have been very busy with work (in Abu Dhabi) and haven’t had time to think about the preparations going in to Rio, but once I get on the flight I’ll be very excited. To be a part of what Fiji have got going at the moment is fantastic. All the Fiji boys, and the Fijiana women’s side, are great people who have made my job so much easier. It is very rewarding.”

In recent years, Fiji have acclimatised ahead of the world series-opening Dubai Sevens by spending a week training in Abu Dhabi first. They have formed a strong bond with the host club, Harlequins, and recruited Manning to help advice on drop-kick technique.

Ben Ryan, the English coach in charge of Fiji, was happy to bring the New Zealander into the fold as often as time would permit, especially after seeing the effects at The Sevens in December.

The Fijian kickers only missed two kicks at goal across the title-winning weekend, and were especially effective at winning kick-off.

“Of 16 tries we scored today, every single one of them was converted,” Ryan said back then, on the opening day of a tournament Fiji went on to win.

“Jeremy Manning deserves a pat on the back. We have been working hard on it back in Fiji, but he has been fine-tuning it here.”

After their success in Dubai, Fiji did not look back. Having only won the title once in the 15 years up until 2015, they have now wrapped up two in successive seasons in the lead in to the format’s debut in the Olympics.

“These players want to win every game they play – it doesn’t matter if it is in training or in the final of the Hong Kong Sevens,” Manning said of the Fijians.

“It doesn’t matter who they come up against, all they think about is winning. It means that in training, the intensity is so high. Guys at training want to win so they can get in the match day squads and get the opportunity to win games for their country.”

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 



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