Aussie Sevens need to be flexible in London

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by Beth Newman

Returned Sevens star Jesse Parahi says Australia needs to play matches on their merits for success in London this weekend.

The Aussies have lost two recent clashes with Fiji in the dying seconds and also went down in the Sydney 7s final to New Zealand after full-time.

While Parahi has only been back in the Sevens fold for one World Series tournament, he said Australia needed to adapt in those moments.

“I think it’s a little about knowing your enemy and knowing who you're playing against,” he said.

“Teams like Fiji score two tries in 30 seconds, they can do some pretty freakish things, so you need keep applying the pressure in an up tempo game.

“You need to drive them out of the game rather than trying to slow them down.”

Australia has to adapt in London. Photo: Getty ImagesParahi was a standout for Australia in Paris, his first tournament since re-joining the Sevens after a stint with NRL’s Wests Tigers and said he was slowly adjusting back into the shorter code.

“(I’m) pretty far from where I was,” he said.

“I had a little bit of an injury coming back into the system and I missed a couple of big sessions which was not great for fitness but managed to get through a few minutes last week.

“Hopefully I get a few more - nothing really compares to game fitness but I’m just looking to build on what I did last week.”

They will have a chance to test themselves against the Series-leading Fijians in the final tournament in London, up against the Pacific Islanders, England and Wales in Pool C.

Australia has made the last three Cup finals in London, drawing on the significance of playing at Twickenham.

Parahi has had time in both Sevens and NRL and said Hayne would likely struggle to adapt to the constant physical effort required in Sevens.

“It’s a credit to the game, we’ve been able to draw in these big stars from NFL and NRL, it just shows the direction the game’s heading,” he said.

“As far as him coming back here I think he’s going to struggle fitness wise.

“He’s an amazing athlete and skill-set wise he’s going to be right up there, but coming from a game that is about short and powerful bursts into one that’s heavily aerobic and needs endurance will be tough, with the short amount of time he’s left himself.”