7 Dec 2015

Sport: Fiji 7's credits pre-season for strong start but wary ahead of Cape Town

1:17 pm on 7 December 2015

The Fiji sevens team credits a strong pre-season for their winning start to the new World Series.

The defending champions picked up where they left off, beating England 28-17 in the Cup final in Dubai.

It's the fourth time in five years Fiji have won the opening tournament of the season and head coach Ben Ryan says it's an event they had targeted.

"Fiji have had a lot of success in series openers. I'm lucky really that in the three seasons [I've been with the team] we've won two opening games and really my first time I got hold of them in Dubai as well, so we've started every year well. I think I get my pre-season right and get the boys in good shape tactically, technically and physically so that we're always going to be there or thereabouts in those opening tournaments".

Despite making a perfect start to the season, Ben Ryan does have a few concerns going into this weekend's second leg in Cape Town.

"I didn't think we played particularly well in the final in the second half but credit to England - I thought they frustrated us and provided a stern test in the final. They were a bit underdone - I got them a bit bigger [in the off-season and] their fitness levels aren't as high as they're going to be later in the year and I think that might catch up with us in Cape Town. We targeted Dubai and one-off tournaments, that's what the Olympics is all about so I think Cape Town is going to be really tough for us and we're going to have to rotate the squad".

Fiji have been drawn in the same pool as Scotland, Russia and Argentina this weekend.

Fiji celebrate winning the 2015 Dubai Sevens.

Fiji celebrate winning the 2015 Dubai Sevens. Photo: World Rugby