Vanua XV team set out to accomplish goal

Vodafone Vanua XV captain Taniela Liwa shake hands with President Jioji Konrote after the i-tatau ceremony at Borron House in Suva on Monday October 29, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE Vodafone Vanua XV rugby team has one chance to prove themselves worthy of donning the national jumper and competing against overseas teams when they take on New Zealand Heartland XV team.

Team Coach Inoke Male said the New Zealand tour had a long term goal to accomplish their mission.

“This is another development team like the Drua it’s a pathway for the Fiji Rugby Union and our focus is to try and prove to the selectors and the FRU that these players can step up to the next level,” Male said.

The team has only been in camp for two weeks and will treat this match as an opportunity to learn and improve.

“We expect the New Zealand team to come out strong and we will put in practice what we’ve learnt and be consistent in every attack and defence,’ Male said.

“We had just started camping together and most of the boys will play for the first time together so we will try and develop our own game pattern and style of rugby that will be unique.”

Meanwhile the Fiji Rugby Union chief executive John O’Connor FRU commended the agreement made between the two rugby houses.

“We are grateful and thankful to the New Zealand Rugby for accommodating this tour and for organising the matches against the Heartland XV in New Zealand,” he said.

“I wish the Vanua team the best in their game in New Zealand.”