RIO OLYMPICS: Crack­nell Happy With Fi­jiana

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Fiji Rugby women’s coach­ing di­rec­tor Chris Crack­nell is happy with the 18-mem­ber train­ing squad in the Telecom Fi­jiana team with 24 days to go to the Rio Olympics. The team has been train­ing along­side the Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s squad at the Upris­ing Beach Re­sort in Pa­cific Har­bour. “The train­ing ses­sions and prepa­ra­tions for Rio have been go­ing re­ally well,” Crack­nell said. “We have had games over the last couple of days within the squad and I’m happy to see how the girls are pro­gress­ing. “They are fit­ter now and any­one of them could go to Rio. “I won’t be drop­ping any play­ers be­cause se­lec­tion is quite tough. I don’t mind spend­ing a bit more time with the girls be­fore the fi­nal se­lec­tion.” Crack­nell said no game in Rio would ever be easy. “We play USA first on Au­gust 6 who we have been wrestling with all year and they have re­ally given us a tough run,” he said. “Our next game is against Aus­tralia and they are ob­vi­ously go­ing to be the tough be­ing front-run­ners for the gold medal so they are go­ing to be our hard­est op­po­nents. “The last game against Columbia will be a very phys­i­cal one so we are look­ing to have a good out­ing.” With the Fi­jiana team paving the way for women’s rugby in the coun­try, Crack­nell be­lieves the reps are play­ing im­por­tant roles in get­ting more women in­volved in the sport. “I don’t know where I will be af­ter the Rio Olympics, whether I will be here or move on but one thing I know is that this team has made a pos­i­tive im­pact in the sport,” Crack­nell said. “Most of the young girls are con­veyor belts to high school girls and I think their par­tic­i­pa­tion in Rio will re­ally boost women’s in­volve­ment in rugby.” The Rio Olympics is sched­uled for Au­gust 5-21.

Edited by Osea Bola

Paulini Rat­u­lailai

From left: Telecom Fi­jiana squad mem­bers Ebony Satala, Brit­ney Coates and Ti­maima Tamoi.Photo:

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