Fiji Airways Flying Fijians Coach Vern Cotter has a close eye on local players currently featuring in the Skipper Cup competition.
Cotter, who is still in New Zealand is working with the FRU’s General Manager High Performance Simon Raiwalui to format a program for Fiji’s domestic rugby players.
“I watched the Nadroga versus Namosi game last weekend,” Cotter said.
“I enjoyed watching it thoroughly, especially with the enthusiasm of the players,” he explained from New Zealand.
Cotter said the players had a lot of pride for both the game and the competition, demonstrating and showcasing what rugby personally means for each of them.
He said Raiwalui and his team have been monitoring the performance of all players and they will soon announce an extended squad.
“There will be further testing for players though, that have put their hands up,” he added.
Cotter highlighted the selected players will then need to go through further processing.
“The first will be the physical requirement needed,” he explained.
“We know that international rugby is a step up and we need to have hard working players that are physically prepared to challenge teams such as England and Wales.
He added there is now an opportunity for local players who meet the standard requirements.
“They need to do everything right and grab the chance of donning the white jersey in future.
“We want to give local players who have shown deep passion for the game in the Skipper Cup an opening and breakthrough,” Cotter added.
He said these local players will also have a chance to feature for the Flying Fijians in the Pacific Nations Cup, which could be held anytime soon.
“At the moment Japan, Samoa and Tonga are yet to confirm if they will commit to the Pacific Nations Cup.
“This would be a good opportunity to showcase local talent in that competition before we select the team for the Europe tour.”
“At the moment just get out there and play, put your hand up and we will be picking players who can compete and possibly give them the opportunity to feature for the national team,” Coach Cotter said in his message to players competing in the Skipper Cup.
Meanwhile, in round 3 of the Skipper Cup at 3pm on Saturday, Tailevu plays Nadroga at Ratu Cakobau, Nadi hosts Suva at Prince Charles Park and Namosi faces Naitasiri in a double header for Farebrother Sullivan Trophy challenge at Thompson Park in Navua.
In a lone match tomorrow at Nadi’s Prince Charles Park, Yasawa meets Lautoka at 5pm.