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Reconditioning, recovery crucial

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PLAYER recovery and reconditioning will be major factors the team management of the under-20 national rugby team will need to address after every game they play in the Junior World Championship in South Africa next month.

The team departs for South Africa tomorrow and head coach Sale Sorovaki said it was one of the areas the team worked on during their time here in Fiji.

But he says it will not be enough as the games played locally was not a tough and demanding as compared to what the team will be dealt with at the tournament.

Sorovaki said games in the tournament would be four days apart and players should be up and ready for the next game in the that period. We have prepared to the best that we could and we look forward to going there and giving it our best shot, Sorovaki said.

We played three full contact matches here and luckily no one was injured in it, he said.

But in the game of rugby anything can happen and especially in a tournament such as the World Championship, we should be prepared for an even harder competition and games.

Playing three games all four days apart is no easy feat especially knowing the teams we are playing are all top class teams.

Fiji is in Pool A which has Wales, new comers Samoa and defending champions, New Zealand, who have been winning the title since its inception in 2008.

Sorovaki says all teams in his pool are on the same level despite their placing in last years competition.

We beat Wales (34-20) last year but we cannot rely on last years result and Samoa, they are the newcomers in the competition after they were promoted from the B-division last year but we cannot underestimate them.

As for New Zealand, they are the defending champions and have made it their habit to win this title so that is the level we will have to lift our performance if we are to match them.

He said the support his team had received so far has been overwhelming and has motivated the team to do their very best in the tournament.

The support from everyone here, the families and friends and everyone has been really good.

And as we are preparing to leave we would like to ask the nation for their support and prayers to assist us as we represent the nation.

We know the expectation for us is high and we would like to live up to that expectation when we compete in South Africa, Sorovaki said.

Fiji plays its first pool match on June 4 against Wales in Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch after which they play Samoa on June 8 at the University of Western Cape Stadium in Cape Town.

At the same venue, Fiji will play its final pool match against New Zealand on June 12.

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