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Support for Flying Fijians

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Sunday, July 16, 2017

CAN the Flying Fijians repeat its feat at the 2007 15s Rugby World Cup? This question will be on the mind of every crazy Fijian rugby fan now following the national side after its recent excellent performances at the Pacific Nations Cup.

Former Flying Fijians forwards coach Reverend Joji Rinakama believes Fiji can repeat this feat if this same squad is moulded and built upon for the 2019 RWC in Japan.

His comments followed an article published by The Fiji Times on July 16, 2007 where former Flying Fijians head coach Ilivasi Tabua gave his thoughts on the team that was selected for that year's world cup.

It was Fiji's highest achievement in the international rugby arena.

We had upset Wales to book a quarter-final berth in France, only to be humbled by South Africa in a close encounter 34- 20.

"This was exactly the same thing we did in 2007. The same lot of players were moulded together for some years before the Rugby World Cup," Rinakama said.

"If the same thing is going to be done for this team, there is no doubt that we are going to create history again in the 2019 RWC.

"These players have more international exposure especially the forward pack because most of them play at international level and rugby development in Fiji has really improved compared with previous years."

Rinakama, who assisted Tabua in the 2007 RWC, said Fiji had improved a lot on its main area of weakness, the scrum, and this was evident in the June Test matches against top teams such as Scotland and Italy.

The former Nadroga and Naitasiri provincial rugby coach has also rallied for support behind the Flying Fijians plight towards the next RWC, adding, "we stand a good chance of doing our best in Japan".

The Vodafone Flying Fijians side is the same pool with Australia, Wales and Georgia at the next Rugby World Cup.

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