|Nacanieli Cawanibuka, Fiji Rugby's National Fitness Trainer |
Local players vying for a spot in the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) team in June went through a grueling fitness session today with national trainer Naca Cawanibuka at the HPU gym in Suva. All players are vying for a place in the East vs West match at Ratu Cakobau Park on 16 May; a game which will double up as a national trial as well as a fundraiser to assist people affected by the recent floods.
Cawanibuka believes current fitness and stamina levels of players are average and that there is much work to be done ahead of the PNC tournament which kicks off on 5 June; though he remains confident players will improve significantly over the coming month.
“We can make the significant gains within that time, I’ve worked with our players for five years and I find they make a lot of gains in one month,” Cawanibuka said.
To fast track players to the required fitness and stamina levels Cawanibuka has put the players through aerobic power work, interval running and basic rugby conditioning.
“When they come into the national team camp it’s a different environment for them, the expectations are much higher and they are monitored strictly and are offered supplements and nutrition to help them recover,” he said.
The Flying Fijians take on PNC defending champions Japan on the 5 June and Pacific Island neighbors Samoa on 10 June in Japan. The side then travels back to Fiji to play Scotland in a one-off Test on 16 June before playing their final PNC match against Tonga at Lautoka’s Churchill Park on 23 June.