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Trio fire-up Classics

Zanzeer Singh
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FIJIANS Sitiveni Sivivatu, Rupeni Caucau and Joe Rokocoko will fire up the speedy Classic All Blacks backline against the Flying Fijians at the ANZ Stadium in Suva this evening.

Classic All Blacks coach Peter Sloane has drafted the trio in the starting XV along with livewire flyhalf Orene Ai'i and Sam Tuitupou at second five-eighth.

Captain and half-back Justin Marshall will spearhead the backline with number eight and vice-captain Jerry Collins marshaling the forwards.

The visitors held their first full training session at the Denarau soccer ground in Nadi yesterday.

Sloane said despite the limited preparation time, his side would give the locals a good run for their money.

He said they would be out to entertain the crowd but not at the expense of the game.

"We have done pretty well for a limited time," the former Blues Super Rugby coach said.

"We had some late arrivals so we had only a couple of runs. That is never enough for a coach or an administrator of a team. But they have come well.

"A big percentage of them have played together. With the Classics, there are a couple of young guys coming in."

"We are looking forward to the game. Fiji plays a great style of rugby.

"Most of us have been through the islands over the years and it will be a tough battle.

"We are realistic that we will be in a tough battle with the limited preparation. But we have had enough to make it a good game."

Sloane is no stranger to Fiji having played and coached here.

He said all the players in the squad would be given a run on the field.

"We have been here with the Barbarians in the 1970s and the club sides backs and forwards," Sloane said.

"I have coached here and have the utmost respect. We have 24 players and the brand's way is to give everyone a game.

"We have got couple of the older guys who may be rolling a bit more than we know.

"But that's how we will start with the game.

"I think this is a fantastic occasion and the fans will turn up in numbers.

"We want to entertain but not at the cost of the game that deteriorates into a festival type game because that won't do the Fijian celebrations any good."

The match kicks off at 6pm.





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