THE Flying Fijians 15s rugby team has been drawn in a pool of death at the 2015 Rugby World Cup if they overcome Papua New Guinea in the Oceania qualifying round.
Fiji faces Wales, a repechage winner, two-time champions Australia and home team England in Pool A if it beats PNG in the qualifiers in 2014.
And despite being drawn in a tough pool after a dismal performance at the 2011 RWC and the recent northern hemisphere tour, national coaching director Franck Boivert says Fiji needs to field two strong teams at the 2015 event taking into account short recovery period and the fact that we are facing three top teams.
He said Fiji could still match Australia, Wales and England if possession was well utilised. He said recovery would be vital in between games especially after playing teams such as England, Wales or Australia.
"We also should remember that we will have less recovery time in between games. We will also have two strong line-ups because of the short recovery time and also the top three teams may beat each other and that would open up opportunities for Fiji who could qualify even after losing one or two games."
Flying Fijians head coach Inoke Male said they needed to put in extra work.
"This is a pool of death and the toughest pool in the world cup and we have to put in extra work in our preparations for the qualifier going forward to the world cup," Male said.
"We have to look at our qualifying rounds first before we tackle the world cup."
Boivert remained optimistic that Fiji could match the three top teams in 2015.
"But seriously, we could match these three top teams (England, Wales and Australia) if we get our fair share of balls in these games and win the one on one in defence," he said.
"Next, if we want to have a chance to compete against these teams in this pool then we need to improve dramatically our scrum play and individual defence. Without drastic improvements in these two fundamental weaknesses, there is no way Fiji can compete," Boivert said.
He said Fiji needed to beat PNG to qualify. He added PNG should not be underestimated as its sevens team almost beat Fiji during the Pacific Games semi-finals in New Caledonia last year.
Meanwhile, Pacific Island neighbours Samoa has been drawn in Pool B with South Africa, Scotland, Asia One and Americas Two qualifiers while Tonga faces Argentina, defending champion New Zealand, Europe One and Africa One qualifiers in Pool C.
Pool A: Australia, England, Wales, Oceania 1, Repechage winner
Pool B: South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Asia 1, Americas 2
Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Europe 1, Africa 1
Pool D: France, Ireland, Italy, Americas 1, Europe 2.