29 May 2015

Sport: Fiji overseas players mooted for Olympic sevens

8:31 am on 29 May 2015

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan says any overseas-based players will have to play in at least two World Series tournaments next season to be considered for their Olympic team.

Fiji won the World Series title earlier this month in London to earn top seeding for the sport's Olympic debut in Rio.

Semi Kunatani has signed for French giants Toulouse but will be released for four yet to be decided tournaments next year, as Samisoni Viriviri was this season.

Ben Ryan says he also keeps in touch with other Fijian players plying their trade abroad and their clubs.

"Some have already provisionally agreed to release at least two tournaments for next year and we will give them an opportunity in the series because next year isn't about winning the series. Everything will be to be preparing that side for 15 months time. But I would like to say, especially based upon how well the boys are playing at the moment, I really can't see too many boys from outside Fijian club rugby getting involved in the Olympics. I think it will be a handful - the majority of the team are still going to be island-based."

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan.

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan. Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie