9 Feb 2013

Sport: Fiji Sevens team under pressure to bounce back in Las Vegas

9:38 am on 9 February 2013

After a week of criticism and debate following their worst ever Wellington tournament, the Fiji Sevens team will finally get their chance to respond today.

The traditional giants failed to qualify for the Cup quarter finals in Wellington and eventually were beaten in the bowl final by Canada.

Since arriving in Las Vegas, the team has refused all interview requests after a media ban was put in place at the request of CEO Manasa Baravilala.

The FRU's new High Performance boss Mike Ryan says the reaction in Fiji has been strong.

"I'm fortunate that I'm reasonably new in the role and there's no fingers getting pointed at me, and there's no answers required of me just this yet but it was very disappointing and there were letters to the paper about that disappointment and high expectations held about the Fiji Sevens side in Las Vegas."

The team opens their Vegas campaign against Wellington winners England this afternoon and also face Scotland, who beat them a week ago, and Portugal on day one.

Meanwhile Samoa will begin the defence of their Las Vegas title against Spain before testing encounters against hosts the USA and Australia.