23 June, 2018, 11:26 am
THE Fiji Airways Flying Fijians team is confident of ending its Pacific Nations Cup series campaign on a high note when it faces Tonga at Lautoka’s Churchill Park this afternoon.
Head coach John McKee said he had selected a powerful team that had the potential to win the game with the emphasis centred on the forwards to counter the physical and mobile Tongan pack.
He said the game would be physical as usual and had mapped out few plans to evenly match their opposition.
“The players need to be up for the physical battle,” said McKee.
“We know they will come hard and direct so we need to match them physically and have a discipline defensive line.”
Fiji has already won the Pacific Cup Series after its win over Samoa and Georgia but a win against the fiery Tongans would be an icing on the cake.
“We haven’t played here for the last couple of years and the boys are really looking forward to the game. “We really enjoyed playing here and the boys are pretty motivated and for us it is really important to finish this June Test series well although the format this year we have already won the Pacific Cup. “If we don’t beat Tonga tomorrow(today) it doesn’t really mean anything and we want to be the number one in the Pacific so we need to bring our best game to be successful.”
Premiership player of the Year Vereniki Goneva will replace Toulon superstar Semi Radradra for the inside backs combination.
“We are really blessed to have a well balanced team and are picking people to win the games and not for opportunity. “Obviously Semi Radradra misses out as he wants to concentrate on 7s and also needs a break and in comes Goneva who is one of the experienced players in the side. He has also played in the position for most Test matches and he is looking forward to partner Jale Vatubua in the centres.”
The game kicks off at 3pm.