3 Dec 2015

Sport: Fijiana back themselves to mix it with top sevens teams

12:07 pm on 3 December 2015

The Fiji women's sevens team believe they can match it with the best in the upcoming World Series, which kicks off tonight in Dubai.

The Fijiana finished eighth overall last season, in their debut World Series campaign, enough to retain their spot as a core team on the circuit.

Their finished sixth at last year's Dubai tournament but only qualified for the quarter finals in two of six legs, winning the bowl title for ninth place on four occasions.

The Director of Women's Sevens in Fiji, Chris Cracknell, is expecting a much improved showing this season.

"Their reputation last year is just pick up the bowl but this is a new Fijiana now, I really do believe that. We've seen their improvements over the last eight weeks and I definitely expect that we're going to mix things up this year. There's a lot of pressure however the girls are now in a better place: they're fitter, faster, stronger and they've got a greater understanding of how we want to play the game the Fijian way. I think if we get all the bits right on and off the field we'll certainly be mixing things up with the bigger teams this year".

Last season Women's World Series featured six stops but the London and Amsterdam legs have been cut from this year's circuit.

Coaching Director of Women’s Rugby in Fiji, Chris Cracknell.

Coaching Director of Women’s Rugby in Fiji, Chris Cracknell. Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie

Chris Cracknell says it's a massive disappointment to take a backward step.

He says it would be great to see the women's series have ten legs like the men's competition, and to play in the same locations like they are in Dubai, but hopefully that will be addressed following the Rip Olympics.

The Fijiana take on last season's series runners up Canada in the opening match of the tournament, as well as the USA and Ireland.

The Fijiana team competing in the 2015 World Series opening leg in Dubai.

The Fijiana team competing in the 2015 World Series opening leg in Dubai. Photo: Fiji Rugby