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Fijiana Under Threat

Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s head coach Saiasi Fuli had already indicated this week his concerns on the Chinese after their superb performance in Guangzhou.
24 Jan 2020 13:00
Fijiana Under Threat
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s captain Raijeli Daveua urges the players during the 2019/20 Women’s World Sevens Series in Dubai last year. Tomorrow they take on England and China at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton before facing New Zealand in their final pool clash on Sunday. Photo: World Rugby

Sean Horan believes China has “woken up to rugby” since the country’s women clinched qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The head coach masterminded China’s victory in the Asia Rugby Women’s Sevens qualification tournament in Guangzhou last November as his charges won all five of their matches, including a 33-0 defeat of Hong Kong in the final.

Having missed out on a place at Rio 2016, success sparked celebration in the Asian nation and the story was picked up by the state broadcaster, CCTV.

They are going to be in action tomorrow at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton.

Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s head coach Saiasi Fuli had already indicated this week his concerns on the Chinese after their superb performance in Guangzhou.

“We’ve an invitational team which is China and they are very good,” Fuli said.

“They have been playing well in the Asian competition as they’ve qualified for the Olympics.”

Both teams are pooled together with England and series leaders New Zealand.

“The (players) are starting to believe in themselves, and that’s probably the biggest thing that we’ve really had to break is that self-belief,” Horan told World Rugby.

FIRST TO ARRIVE

China have spent the last four weeks in New Zealand in preparation for the tournament in Hamilton, and the squad and support staff spent Christmas with Horan and his family in Tauranga.

During that time the team has enjoyed training sessions with both the Black Ferns Sevens and Brazil, and Horan revealed the former played a pivotal role in their Olympic quest.

“We’re lucky enough because I get on well with the New Zealand outfit,” said Horan, who led New Zealand to three series titles, a Rugby World Cup Sevens title and Olympic silver medal during his time as coach..

Edited by Osea Bola

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