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Players show loyalty

Emoni Narawa
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

FLYING Fijians coach Inoke Male is pleased with the commitment overseas players have shown while preparing for the Pacific Rugby Cup.

A number of overseas-based players from Australia, Japan and New Zealand, including Sam Speight — the elder brother of ACT Brumbies winger Henry Speight — have attended the fitness tests at their own expense.

Male said the attitude of such players showed how passionate they were in becoming a Flying Fijian.

He said while attendance at Monday's fitness test was poor, local players should use the PRC campaign to prove they are Flying Fijians material.

"At the moment some players from as far as Japan, New Zealand and Australia are paying their fare for the third fitness test and trials," Male said.

"This shows the commitment and how some players value the white jersey and playing in the PRC is a stepping stone to the Flying Fijians and better contract overseas."

The former Flying Fijian number eight said the PRC would be important for local players in terms of competition and game time since the overseas players were playing top quality games every week.

Male said the outcome of the fitness test was evident that players had been training during the festive season.

"The outcome of the test looks promising.

"But the response (attendance) of the players was not good as this will determine which (local) players are really eager to wear the Flying Fijians jersey come June and the Europe tour."

The next fitness test is scheduled for February 7-8.

The names of players required to attend the final trials will be published in the newspapers.

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