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Tomasi Cama keeps on keeping on

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Sportal.co.nz     01 Feb 2013     Getty Images

The tournament kicks off at Westpac Stadium on Friday afternoon and with fine weather forecast for both days some intense Sevens action is on the cards.

Cama has seen it all before as one of the leading, and most durable, exponents of the game.

He has become crucial to coach Gordon Tietjens' plans to continue the Sevens dynasty that has been built. However, with the Rio de Janiero Olympics in 2016, the inevitable question is how long can Cama continue to steer New Zealand's Sevens waka.

The IRB and New Zealand Sevens player of the year said he loved the challenge of testing himself against the best in the world.

"I have been playing for a few years now and age is catching up, but I know how hard you have to work to win tournaments," he said.

"Mentally and physically I believe I am prepared for whatever comes my way now and I can cope with it. We do things as a team but I can put my bit in too."

New Zealand always feel some extra pressure playing in front of their home fans and winning in Wellington is always an important goal.

"We are looking forward to this weekend and [are] hoping to pick up where we left off in Port Elizabeth [at the last tournament]," Cama said.

That win in South Africa was New Zealand's first of the 2012-13 campaign after they had made the finals of the first two events only to lose.

With yet more variations to the squad he has been able to pick, Tietjens can at least call on his core group of players, Cama, DJ Forbes, Lote Raikabula and Tim Mikkelson.

"The four of us bring different things," Cama said.

"We try to share the workload and we try to tell and teach the younger guys everything we need to do to make the game easier and to help each other.

"As a core four, we need to show them the way, when it gets tough we have to put our hands up. They are keeping us on our toes, but we need to front up when we need to," he said.

As the son of a Fijian rugby international Cama said there was always pressure around him as he developed.

"But I was very fortunate when he [his father] was playing for Fiji when I was growing up so I learned a lot of things from him.

"I learned from watching him, as well as players like Christian Cullen and Eric Rush," he said. Among the lessons was appreciating how much those players had put in behind the scenes to prepare themselves.

"But me and my father are two different types of players. I have to concentrate on my own game.

"I know my strengths and weaknesses and try to keep doing what I do well to and working on things I can improve on," he said.