Fiji can win World Cup

Sisa and Pauline Koyamaibole in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

THREE-TIME Flying Fijian Rugby World Cup player Sisa Koyamaibole believes Fiji can win the Rugby World Cup next year in Tokyo, Japan.

The former national backrower was regarded as one of the best in the world after he was selected by former coach and former All Blacks prop Brad Johnstone during his tenure in Fiji.

Koyamaibole, who now plays in France, said getting the Flying Fijians in the right mind-set and environment could work well for Fiji Airways Flying Fijians coach John McKee.

“If they have the same mentality, bond, love and unity in the team and use their resources and training environment well, they could develop a winning attitude,” Koyamaibole said.

“A good example was the 2007 Rugby World Cup when Fiji reached the quarter-finals against South Africa which went on to win the tournament that year.

“In 2007, we made use of our local resources to train and prepare for the World Cup and we defeated Wales in the pool games and gave the 2007 World Cup champions South Africa a good run in the quarter-finals. We didn’t need overseas exposure to reach that level, but it was the resources we had that enabled us to reach that level.

“A good example would be the Fiji 7s team to the Rio Olympic Games. They trained at the Uprising Resort ground, used the Sigatoka sand dunes to build up their fitness, and the end result made all Fijians around the world proud to be a Fijian when they won our first Olympics gold medal.

“That is what I meant when I say that making use of our resources to train and build up our team to the 2019 Rugby World Cup to Japan.”

The 38-year-old veteran said the objective of winning could only be achieved if players put aside their differences and agreed to have one goal and work together as a team.

“Many of the players in the Flying Fijians have gained experience as a player, many of them are based overseas and they have big contracts for their clubs, but when it comes to representing their nation in the world cup, they need to be one, they should put aside the knowledge of coming in as experienced players and try to unite and bond as one. “Love and respect among each other and the mentality to play as a team will be an important factor for the players. If they are able to blend these into one, then nothing is impossible and they can bring the World Cup trophy to Fiji.”

More Stories