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Brive scouts for young talents

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, May 29, 2014

FRENCH Top 14 club Brive's director of coaching Nicholas Godignon is in the country along with former Fiji number eight Sisa Koyamaibole to scout for young talents.

The duo visited schools in the Western Division on Monday and have been making a few rounds at schools in the Suva-Nausori corridor in the past few days.

Godignon, who is assisted by former France reps Didier Casadei and Philippe Carbonneau at Brive, said they wanted to adopt a loyal relationship with the rugby fraternity in Fiji. He said Fijian players had done a lot for rugby in France and it was time to pay it back.

"We have discussed how we could help rugby here," Godignon said.

"Fiji has many talented players in our Top 14 competition. Metuisela Talebula finished as the top scorer of the season. Timoci Nagusa was two years ago and Napolioni Nalaga was last year.

"This is my first trip to Fiji, to see first-hand rugby here and to see if really rugby is a religion. We have made couple of visits to the schools to see what standard they are in and now I can say rugby is a religion here."

Koyamaibole signed with Brive from Bordeaux Begles last year.

This is after Brive topped the Pro D2 com and gained promotion to the top flight. Brive finished in ninth position in 2013/2014 Top 14 competition. The 34-year-old said Brive was a family-oriented club.

Koyamaibole said he opted out of the Test matches next month — on the advice of the Brive coaches — to recover.

"But I'm always available for my country," he said,

"For the next Rugby World Cup, I have interest for that. We have just finished a long season in the Top 14. It was an amazing season because I'm in a club which is family-oriented. They have looked after me very well.

"The club came up to the top flight after winning the Pro D Two last year and they signed me up and they trusted me and we did well this season.

"Rugby in France is amazing depending where I'm at my age. The coaching staff, public, fans and executives of Brive have made my rugby more interesting.

"The national selectors came over to Brive and we held some meetings. I have heard about the new coach John McKee.

"But the coaches at Brive asked me if I could have a rest for the June period."

Koyamaibole has earned 46 caps for Fiji since making his debut in 2001.

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