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Tonga, Fiji battle

Maciu Malo
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

EXPECT fireworks in the much anticipated Pacific rugby rivalry when the Vodafone Fiji under-20 side battles against their Tongan counterpart in the first of their two matches scheduled for this afternoon at Lautoka's Churchill Park.

This is according to Fiji head coach and former Fiji Airways Flying Fijians flanker Koli Sewabu.

The winner for this competition will secure a spot in the 2018 World Rugby under-20 Trophy and the 2018 Oceania Rugby U20s championship joining Samoa.

Sewabu said the recent the Ruby League World Cup semi-finals and the performance of the Fiji rugby union senior teams would inspire the players to play their hearts out.

"We are expecting fireworks after all the hype of the Rugby League World Cup semi- finals," he said.

"With the Fiji Bati and Tonga making it to the semi-finals and for us Fiji —— our senior teams have set the standard with our 7s team winning the Oceania 7s and the Flying Fijians did well against Ireland and to beat Canada is a challenge.

"Now the onus us on us to step up and also do our best against Tonga."

Sewabu said the side wanted nothing less than a win in its quest to secure a spot in world rugby U20 trophy championships.

"The boys are getting everything needed to win this tournament because that is the ultimate aim."

"This is the only way we can make it to the Oceania competition and the junior world trophy so we need to win and score maximum points."

He said majority of the players participated at the World Youth Championship and would be joined by some new faces.

"Majority of the players that took part at the junior world championship in Uruguay are in the team with few new boys coming in after our two trials few weeks ago —— solely for the reasons to look at the pathway programs to prepare them for the future."

The match kicks off at 5pm.

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