Vanua XVs rugby team to play their own brand of rugby

Members of the Vanua XV team in one of their training routines in Suva. Picture: FT FILE/NOA BIUDOLE

THE Fiji Vanua XVs rugby team will play their own brand of rugby when they take on two New Zealand teams from the Heartland Championship.

Compared to the Fiji Airways Drua team, the Vanua XVs team has a benchmark to set and the players have a goal to achieve at the end of their tour.

Head coach Inoke Male said the competition gives equal opportunities for the B/division players to showcase their hidden talents.

“The competition level in New Zealand more competitive than the one in Australia so we will need to play our very own brand of rugby against our New Zealand opponents,” Male said.

“Take for example the Fijian Drua team and the way they’ve been playing has set another standard in the NRC so we will focus on our own style of rugby if we want to down our opponents.

The New Zealand tour is a portal to another rugby dimension for the Vanua XVs as majority of the players are based in rural areas.

The Fiji Rugby Union chief executive John O’Connor expressed that their aim is on the development of rugby in the country by creating pathways for the players and the New Zealand tour is an opportunity for the players in the Vanua XVs to challenge for a place in the Fijian Drua team, the Fiji Warriors and also for the Flying Fijians team.

Meanwhile the Vanua XVs team has a total of 31 players and it will be trimmed to the final 26 later this week once the travelling documents are in place.

“We don’t have enough time to train and we’ve only camped together for two weeks so we are racing against time in our preparation as we want to select the best for the trip,” Male said.

The team will depart in the first week of November.

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