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Mission Colorado

New-look Fijiana 7s side take on Spain to prepare for 2018/19 Series opener   The Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team have settled in their camp in Glendale, Colorado and are
20 Oct 2018 11:23
Mission Colorado
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s captain Sereima Leweniqila (standing left) with captains of the other participating team at the 2018/19 World Sevens Series opener at Infinity Park, Glendale in Colorado, USA on October 18,2018. Photo: World Rugby

New-look Fijiana 7s side take on Spain to prepare for 2018/19 Series opener

 

The Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team have settled in their camp in Glendale, Colorado and are ready for the opening tournament of the 2018/18 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.

The new-look Fijiana side under interim coach Ro Alifereti Doviverata had a scrimmaging session with the Spain women’s side to tune them up for tomorrow’s opener.

The Fijiana without most of their regular sevens players are being led by Sereima Leweniqila and she will be assisted by the likes of veteran lanky prop Litia Naiqato and powerhouse XVs forward Esiteri Bulikiobo.

 

CAPTAINS’ MEET

Twelve captains gathered at Infinity Park ahead of the new World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series opening round which takes place this weekend With the addition of the USA Women’s Sevens, the women’s series increases to six rounds this season, providing more high-quality playing opportunities for participating teams.

The 2019 series has added incentive for the 11 core teams who are competing for not only the series title but also a place at Tokyo 2020 as the series acts as the principle route for Olympic qualification.

Defending series champions Australia will face Russia, Spain and invitational side Mexico in Pool A and are looking for a strong start to the series.

“It’s extremely important to start this first leg strong, with Olympic qualification it’s really important that we make that top four to qualify for those Olympics,” said Australia co-captain Sharni Williams.

“The game has grown leaps and bounds and the skill level has stepped up, it’s really an unknown for sevens.

“Especially coming into this first leg of the world series, it’s really about what have people been doing in the off-season.

“It’s about just seeing what they [teams] showcase on the first day and then we will reassess.”

Hosts USA are in Pool B alongside Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 winners New Zealand, England and returning core team China.

USA co-captain Lauren Doyle is looking forward to getting the series underway in front of a home crowd. “We are so excited, we had the World Cup and now we get to roll right into a new season on home soil.

“Family and friends are here and its pumping us up, so I think it’s going to be a great start to the season.

“Home support, you can’t really describe it, it’s a feeling you get deep inside and it warms your heart, you are ready to play and you just want to show your home crowd what you have been doing.”

With Olympic qualification on the line for teams this season Doyle added: “We just have to focus on each tournament, one at a time and you can’t really put too much pressure, if you do the small things, then it’s going to lead to the bigger picture.”

China captain Yan Meiling expressed her team’s excitement at being back on the world series. “We are excited to have the opportunity to play as a core team, we worked really hard to qualify so we are looking forward to the experience.

“We are excited to play all of the elite teams that are part of the series and learn from them.

“Every opportunity we get to play at this level makes us better.”

France and Canada, who finished third and fourth respectively in the 2018 series, take their place in Pool C alongside an unknown Fijian side and Ireland who are known to cause an upset on any day.

 

WHEN FIJIANA PLAY?

Fijiana’s first game is against second seed Canada at 4.30am tomorrow followed by top seed France at 7.36am.Their final pool game is against Ireland at 9.58am.

– Edited: Osea Bola

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj


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