Koyamaibole: Use local resources to train, build team for Rugby World Cup

Sisa and wife Pauline Koyamaibole in Suva Picture: JONA KONATACI/FILE

THREE time Flying Fijian Rugby World Cup player Sisa Koyamaibole believes Fiji has the calibre to win the Rugby World Cup next year in Tokyo, Japan.

But this, he says, is if they have the same mentality of acquiring bond, love and unity in the team and make use of their resources and training environment around them to develop a winning attitude.

Koyamaibole, who was in the country last week, said a good example was the 2007 World Cup when they reached the quarter-finals against South Africa that won 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,” Koyamaibole said.

“A good example would be the Fiji 7s team to the Rio Olympics, they trained at the Uprising 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 ever Olympic gold medal.

“That is what I mean when I say 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 says the objective of winning can only be achieved if the players put aside their differences and agree to have one goal – working together as a team.

“Many of the players in the Flying Fijians have gained experience as a player, many of them are based in 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,” he added.

“Love and respect amongst 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 for the Flying Fijians and they can definitely bring the Web Ellis World Cup trophy to Fiji.”

Koyamaibole visited his families in the country last week after being suspended for eight weeks from the France Top 14 competition due to a rugged play where he allegedly pushed off an opponent in the face and likely to have poked the eyes of the player.

He featured for the Flying Fijians team in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Koyamaibole will soon be hanging his boots for good and retire as a rugby player but has future plans of continuing his career as a coach.

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