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Top priority

Emoni Narawa
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

MAINTAINING a formidable combination is priority for Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee.

The national rugby 15s head coach made the revelation after Fiji's 108-6 victory over the Cook Islands during the Rugby World Cup qualifying match at Lautoka's Churchill Park over the weekend.

McKee missed a couple of his top players such as Vereniki Goneva and Seremaia Bai but had a wealth of experienced players available during the June Test series against Italy, Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands.

He told Times Sport that Fiji needed to maintain the core of the squad. McKee selected his final 30 players after announcing a 39-member squad.

"We got a core of the squad here, three or four players not here because of injuries," he said.

"What I really want to do now is get consistent with the squad and really keep the same squad together."

The former FRU High Performance Unit manager said the autumn tour to France, Wales and the US would set the platform for the 2015 RWC.

Fiji is grouped in Pool A alongside giants Wales, Australia and host country, England.

"We got the November tour coming up in the northern hemisphere where we play France, Wales and USA.

"This is a good tour for us to really test ourselves.

"We got some really good sides in Europe because the next thing we want to do to really play well against these Tier One countries.

"I think it is a really great opportunity in November to play against France and Wales because the environment up there is a preview to the world cup the following year."

McKee added he needed to work on all aspects of the game prior to the RWC. Fiji plays England in its opening RWC match before taking on Wales, Australia and the Play-off winner in its remaining pool matches.

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