9 Oct 2014

Sport: Fiji sevens coach demands fast start to new season

12:23 pm on 9 October 2014

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan says it's important to make a strong start to the IRB World Sevens Series, which kicks off this weekend on the Gold Coast.

The Fijians finished third in the overall standings last season, behind New Zealand and South Africa, in Ryan's first year at the helm.

The 2011 and 2012 Gold Coast champions were knocked out in the Cup quarter finals of last year's season opener, going on to win the Plate title.

Ben Ryan says they need to start better this time.

"That means firstly making sure that you're into the Cup and then get into those semi finals and those top four to get in there because, historically, I think once those teams around Christmas have settled into the top four very rarely does anyone pop in from outside that top group. Certainly if you were in the top two you won't find yourself out of the top four unless you have a horrific run of tournaments so it's very important we start well. I've been pleased - it's a short pre-season but it's been an intense one".

Fiji are in the same pool as Australia, Scotland and Portugal, Samoa have been drawn alongside New Zealand while American Samoa will take on South Africa in the group stage.