Mad Fijians hoping for glory at Rio 2016

"My main goal is to inspire a whole group of people in the United States and I really want the United States to pick it [rugby] up".

Sonny Bill Williams has snubbed Australian media ahead of the Rugby Sevens at the Rio Olympics. One mistake, one bad decision with possession, momentum can shift and it's anyone's game when that happens.

"And he's like, oh man, let's get a photo".

The 12 Canadians who take to the pitch Saturday at Deodoro Stadium have been through a lot, individually and as a team, just to get to call themselves Olympians. Not only are they bent on Olympic glory but the players realise they are sitting on a gold mine in terms of exploding the game in their home country.

"We have to win it first, bro", Williams said.

CT: "They cover big distances given the demands of a game of rugby sevens".

The programme is a collaboration between World Rugby, the Brazilian rugby federation and National Olympic Committee, the City of Rio and Rio 2016, and has already engaged more than 175,000 players, coaches and young match officials in Rio since its launch in March 2015. "We want to show Fijian rugby, Fijian sevens, and therefore the island of Fiji, at its very best".

"When we go to tournaments now, there are kids everywhere and they are excited about rugby", she said. Fiji and Australia are also strong medal contenders. Already a World Cup victor with the famous All Blacks, Williams wants to add Olympic gold.

"For us to finish outside a podium would be a disappointment but the teams that would keep us from doing that would have to perform better than we have ever seen before", said head coach John Tait.

And we had talanoa and lotu the other night from Naca - he talked about the different levels of your brain and that seems to have transformed their vision and their behavioural pattern.

The ramifications of sevens' inclusion in the Olympics was also not lost on Landry, whose side are ranked third after Australia and the Kiwis. It's fast and unpredictable. They accomplished them all.

It took her about three years to get a handle on rugby and she continues to adapt to the changing rules of the sport.

At the heart of that history is the pace, power and skill of the Fijians, 16 times winners of the iconic Hong Kong Sevens and World Series champions for the last two years. They won three of five series events and were on the podium for the other two netting them the overall title and top seeding for Rio.

Top seeds Australia will play the United States, Fiji and Colombia in Pool A while New Zealand, France, Spain and Kenya contest Pool B. Canada, Britain, Brazil and Japan complete the field in Pool C.

Canada has competed in the last seven World Cups, starting in 1991 as well.

Q: What has been the most surprising thing that you have seen rise through the girls, what has their bonding been like and their evolution as a squad?



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