NATIONAL Rugby Sevens coach Waisale Serevi returned with a challenge for members of the sevens squad last Friday, immediately after the release of the Wellington Sevens draw.
The draw released by the International Rugby Board last Thursday pooled PNG with Scotland, Australia and Fiji.
Serevi posed the challenge to squad members going into the festive season.
“This is a great opportunity, a chance to go through to the next stage in world rugby,” Serevi said.
“Forget the festive season because we have to start, put our foot on the ground and work hard. It will be tough first up. The country is counting on you to work hard in representing them on the world stage”, he said.
The sevens master added that the chance to perform in the Wellington pool was there, but it came down to the commitment of the players.
“We think it is not easy, but it is not that hard either. All pools are tough, but it will come to the team that performs on the day.”
“I came back early because I really believe in our chance and I want to make sure we are ready for these important weeks coming up and a big year in sevens next year.”
Serevi had taken the past weeks after Sri Lanka to observe the progress of the other teams going into Wellington, and was encouraged by what he saw as a chance for the team.
“All teams will want to do their best. Australia and Scotland played well in Dubai, but we could do better.”
The road to Wellington will be a month long road for the sevens squad, with two tournaments set for Fiji, a club tournament from Jan 16-17 and the Suva Festival of Sevens, which will include eight teams from different countries, and eight Fijian provincial teams.
Serevi said he could not wait to get the side together again ahead of the schedule start.
He thanked sponsors Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) and PNGRFU for the opportunity to coach the side and looked forward next year.