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Focus ahead

Rashneel Kumar
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FLYING Fijians remain focused on its remaining northern hemisphere tour matches despite a disastrous start against England on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium.

Fiji recorded its worst defeat at the hands of the Englishmen after going down 12-54 despite a powerful start in London.

Team manager Aseri Rokoura told Times Sports the match against top English club Gloucester tomorrow is vital in setting the pace for their remaining matches against Ireland Wolfhound and Georgia.

He said the players were disappointed with the loss but had left that behind and turned their focus on the remaining matches.

Rokoura said the players had played together as a team against England and they had no excuse heading into the match against Gloucester.

"We didn't have much time to combine these professional, semi-professional and amateur players together for the match against England but then there is no excuse for the loss," he said.

"The team has come to terms with the poor result from the Test match against England. However, a lot of positiveness was derived from that match to improve on the next game.

"We have developed that collective play and effort from the match against England and the players should come better prepared against Gloucester."

Rokoura confirmed the inclusion of France-based Timoci Matanavou who had replaced Kameli Ratuvou.

He said the team would have a couple of training runs focusing mainly on the backline and set piece play before facing Gloucester.

"There are no serious injuries in camp other than normal bruises and muscle pains from the last match," Rokoura said.

"The boys will be playing a night game against Gloucester hence the captains run will be at 7pm (Gloucester time) for the team to adapt and familiarise with the floodlights and night environment.

"The team and management would like to thank all their supporters and families in Fiji and around the world for all their support and prayers and also wish them a very Happy Diwali."

Meanwhile, France-based Jone Qovu has been suspended from playing in the Top 14 competition until December 4 by the French Rugby Federation.

Fiji Rugby Union filed a complaint to its French counterpart after Racing Metro player Qovu withdrew from the tour citing injuries.

He later played in the Top 14 competition against Perpignan.

According to an AFP report, a French Rugby Federation source said Racing Metro failed to explain why Qovu declined "to join up with the squad, if he really was injured and if that was the case, how was he then fit enough to play against Perpignan".

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