Vodafone Flying Fijians coach, John McKee has named a strong team for the 2016 Pacific Nations Cup and Test Match against Georgia scheduled to be hosted here in Fiji in June.
The team consists of experienced players based largely on the team built over the past two years.
“This is a strong squad based largely on the team built over the past two years and at the same time taking the opportunity to introduce some younger players who have shown good form at Warriors level and deserve the opportunity to gain some experience at full international level with a view towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup” McKee said.
McKee added that the door was still open for players in the Top 14 finals in the France competition to join the Vodafone Flying Fijians squad should their team get knocked out. These included 2015 RWC Captain, Akapusi Qera and Tight Head Prop, Manasa Saulo. There are also a few players in the Warriors squad who would be on standby and could be called up in case of injury.
FRU CEO, Mr John O’Connor highlighted that the current squad was selected focussed on achieving qualifications for the Rugby World Cup in 2019 as such includes most of senior players playing overseas. Our main priority for this Pacific Nations Cup and next years is to qualify for the Rugby World Cup in 2019. After qualifying for the Rugby World Cup, then there are opportunities to start introducing young potential player’s both playing overseas and those playing in the domestic competition as part of preparing for the World Rugby World Cup in Japan. He also highlighted that FRU is committed to restructuring our local competition to lift the standard of our competition so that those playing in the local domestic competition are able to compete for positions with their peers playing in overseas competition leading to the Rugby World Cup in 2019. He, however, cautioned that first we must qualify and that is a priority for the selected team.
He has encouraged all the supporters to come down to ANZ Stadium in Suva and watch the Vodafone Flying Fijians take on the might of the Ikale Tahi Tonga, Manu Samoa and Georgia on the 11th, 18th and 24 of June.
“This is the first tournament for our Vodafone Flying Fijians and will be a family fun filled event. I would like to encourage all the fans to come down and support them, as we start the bid to qualify for the 2019 RWC.”
“Tickets which are sold at affordable prices will go on sale soon and when they do, please get yours early to avoid any disappointment.”
Major Sponsors, Vodafone Fiji Ltd’s CEO, Pradeep Lal, congratulated the team on their selection.
“Vodafone Fiji wishes to congratulate the players selected into the Vodafone Flying Fijians Team for the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup against Tonga, Samoa and the one-off test versus Georgia. You have earned your right to don the national jumper.”
“We look forward to a successful outing and defence of the PNC cup. We would like to wish Coach, John McKee and the players all the best and Power to the team”
Let us all come down and fill the Stadium and support our Team. TOSO VITI
The following players have been selected to represent Fiji in the June Test Series:
Campese Ma’afu, Peni Ravai, Sunia Koto, Viliame Veikeso, Jale Sassen, Leeroy Atalifo, Taniela Koroi, Mesake Doge, Leone Nakawara, Tevita Cavubati, Api Ratuniyarawa, Nemia Soqeta, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Malakai Ravulo, Eremasi Radrodro, Henry Senioli, Nemia Kenatale, Serupepeli Vularika, Ben Volavola, Seremaia Bai, Eroni Vasiteri, Vereniki Goneva, Waisea Nayacalevu, John Stewart, Patrick Osborne, Savenaca Rawaca, Benito Masilevu, Kini Murimurivalu
CONTACT FIJI RUGBY UNION MEDIA OFFICER, TALEI MOW ON firstname.lastname@example.org or 8903855 FOR ANY QUERIES.