Coach calls in Kunavula

Former Fiji Airways Fiji sevens rep, Mesulame Kunavula sweats it out during their training session at Albert Park in Suva on Wednesday, May 08, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FORMER Fiji Airways Fiji 7s rep Mesulame Kunavula is the only Northern Hemisphere-based player to face the Eddie Jones-coached Barbarians side on Sunday.

Despite John McKee’s hope to include a majority of French-based players he told RNZ he only ended up including Kunavula as the only call-up from the northern hemisphere who will join the Flying Fijians campaign.

“He was in our sevens program and he’s joined Edinburgh this year,” McKee told RNZ.

“I was enquiring with coaching staff there about how he was going and (Director of Rugby) Richard Cockerill thought it would be really beneficial for him to get the game-time so he’s one professional player from up north who’s joining us but with the other players we didn’t even go to the clubs.

McKee told RNZ: “It’s outside the (player release) window and the clubs are going to say no. “We just concentrated on building a side around the players we’ve got here.”

The Fijians only previous match against the Barbarians was a 43-19 defeat in London six years ago.

McKee expected a competitive clash from his side on Sunday.

The game will be played at Twickenham in London, England at 3.30am.

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