Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Coach Ryan out to work Dubai magic with Fiji

FIJI

Men

Dubai debut: 1999

Dubai 2012: 7th (Cup quarter-finalists, Plate semi-finalists)

Dubai best: Runners-up six times

HSBC Sevens World Series best: Winners 2005/06

HSBC Sevens World Series record: P: 671, W: 507, L: 156, D: 8, F: 18,201, A: 8,121

Biggest win: 82-7 v Thailand, 2009/10

Heaviest defeat: 0-57 v Australia, 2001/02

World Cup 2013: 3rd, semi-finalists

Dubai will be their 121st tournament, having won 21. Fiji have never finished outside the top four in the overall standings in 14 seasons.

Player to watch: Levani Botia — immensely strong forward whose leadership qualities came to the fore last season when called upon.

Women

One of the four invitation teams

2013 will be their Dubai debut

One IRB Women’s Sevens World Series tournament in 2012/13: Finished 11th in China

World Cup 2013: 9th (Bowl winners)

Player to watch: Suliana Batirau Gusuivalu — in a team growing in confidence and prowess, Gusuivalu stood out as one of the key performers at the World Cup in Moscow with three tries.

SAMOA

Men

Dubai debut: 1999

Dubai 2012: Champions

HSBC Sevens World Series best: Winners 2009/10

HSBC Sevens World Series record: P: 650, W: 423, L: 205, D: 22, F: 14,393, A: 8,773

Biggest win: 75-0 v Malaysia, 1999/2000

Heaviest defeat: 5-64 v Fiji, 2001/02

World Cup 2013: 10th, Plate runners-up

Dubai will be their 121st tournament, having won nine

Player to watch: Afa Aiono — a key man last year as the Samoans took the title in Dubai, and you can expect a lot more ball-winning and powerful running from him in 2013.