Marriages don't stop training
09 August, 2011
|Forwards on the rowing machines with head coach Sam Domoni (left) keeping a close eye on the recalled Graham Dewes (right). |
It’s been an interesting few days for some members of the Flying Fijians and in particular Rupeni Nasiga and Kini Murimurivalu who, over the weekend, gave up their status of eligible bachelor to join the ranks of the married. Needless to say, as training for the Rugby World Cup (RWC) intensifies, the honeymoon for both players is on hold until further notice.
On the training field focus turns to Tonga and ensuring the mistakes made during the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) are not repeated. Captain Deacon Manu, a quiet but firm leader, has instructed his players to draw a line in the sand as far as their last outing against Tonga was concerned.
“Their coming to our house again and we’ve got to make sure the same mistakes are not repeated,” Manu said.
With the Rugby World Cup a month or so away players have stepped up their focus and intensity to another level to an extent which has certainly impressed incoming Flying Fijians team manager Pio Tikoisuva.
“Having rejoined the squad after several weeks away I am more than delighted in the progress and desire I’ve seen in the players at training today (Monday), it’s quite clear to me that there is a real desire to better our performance from what was achieved in 2007,” Tikoisuva said.
A boost to the squad is the return of the effervescent Nicky Little who took leave to bring his young family to Fiji. With both Nicky and family arriving safely last evening, the longest serving member of the Flying Fijians has fitted smoothly back into training. It’s interesting to note when Nicky earned his first cap for Fiji as a raw 19 year old in 1996, the majority of his colleagues were in either primary or secondary school.
As last week three players remain on the injury rehabilitation list – Gabirieli Lovobalavu, Napolioni Nalaga and Sekonaia Kalou – with all making slow but steady progress. Lovobalavu in particular has made good progress from the hairline fracture in his fibula received in the opening PNC match against Tonga in June.
The first Test in the Punjas Series, between the Flying FIjians and Tonga, will be played this Saturday at Churchill Park with kick-off at 3:30 PM. Tickets for the fixture can be bought at epay booths around the country. View photos of the Flying Fijians RWC 2011 squad