FLYING Fijians head coach Inoke Male has issued a stern warning regarding fitness and discipline to players who are aiming to don the national jumper this year and in the future.
He told Times Sport there had been a lot of problems last year with the national team and in the Fiji Warriors side. The former national number eight said indiscipline and poor fitness would no longer be tolerated.
"Last year, there were a lot of cases of indiscipline, players lacked fitness, there was no regard for leadership whatsoever and this affected our preparations badly," Male said.
"So we have changed our policy in terms of fitness tests and the selection of players for duties with the Fiji Warriors or the Flying Fijians."
He said now they would no longer work on fitness during their preparations but rather focus more on the game situation, combinations and other aspects of the game.
"We have been spoonfeeding the players and being lenient on them but no more," Male said.
"Now the onus is on the players to get their fitness up to the required level because we will only select those who pass the test and work with them.
"If you want the jersey, take ownership of it and work hard for it."
Male added the jersey should be worn proudly and not be considered a mere task.
"The national jersey is not something you use and discard.
"It is has to be worn with pride and for an important purpose.
"Players should respect the jersey and take ownership of it."