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Matson May Aid McKee

Matson May Aid McKee
Tabaiwalu Matson.
May 27
08:03 2015

Crusaders assistant coach Tabaiwalu Matson is in the running to assist Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach, John McKee, with preparations for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

This was confirmed by McKee when speaking to SUNsports yesterday.

Responding to speculations that the former Fiji 15s rep was a shoe in for Flying Fijians assistant coach, McKee said they were still awaiting confirmation on his release.

“I have been in communication with Tabai regarding coming to the Flying Fijians as the assistant coach for the Pacific Nations Cup, following his New Zealand Maoris commitments, and the Rugby World Cup and he is very keen to do so,” he said.

“We have not made announcement yet as the Fiji Rugby Union is awaiting the final okay from the Crusaders and the New Zealand Rugby Union as his employer.”

Born John Tabaiwalu Matson, the 47 year-old has maternal links to the chiefly enclave of Bau, Tailevu and was born in Nausori.

Matson debuted for the Canterbury provincial team in 1994, debuting for the All Blacks in 1995 and featuring for Fiji at the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

Starting his coaching career with Japanese club Yamaha Jubilo, he returned to New Zealand to take up Assistant Coach post for Canterbury in 2009, taking up the head coaching position in 2012, before joining Super Rugby franchise in 2013.

As for acquiring other reputed assistance, McKee confirmed that his 7s counterpart, Ben Ryan, had been a regular presence and despite a busy schedule would be a part of the final countdown to England.

“I regularly work with Ben around preparations for both 7s the Rugby World Cup. Ben has a lot on his plate planning for the 2016 Rio Olympics and the next World 7s series, which does not allow much time for other commitments.

“Ben will spend some time with us in our preparation camp and possibly for part of the Rugby World Cup.”

Meanwhile, McKee refuted claims that wing Timoci Nagusa was opting to sit out the World Cup in favour of his Top 14 French club Montpelier.

“Incorrect, I have been in contact with Timoci this week and spoke with his coach Jake White this morning regarding his rehab program following shoulder surgery and time frame for him to return to Fiji for camps.”

McKee named his extended squad for the 2015 Pacific Nations Cup and the 2015 Rugby World Cup last Monday.




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