McKee: Keep To Form
Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee will cut down the squad numbers from 53 to 40 later this week.
“Players will need to be in form to book a spot in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in September,” McKee said.
Similarly, playing in the Pacific Nations Cup next month will not guarantee a RWC spot for anyone, but only if the players meet the criterias.
“We have been doing a lot of programmes watching videos of overseas players to track their performances in their clubs and visiting them and talking to their coaches,” McKee said.
“On the same note our local players have produced exciting results in their South American tour, just because players are participating in the PNC they will not go to the RWC automatically but we will be monitoring their form and their fitness.”
He said they have a world class programme, which would assist in their RWC campaign.
He also believes having plans on paper would not produce good results but they would need to work on player’s individuality.
Fiji is grouped alongside hosts England, Australia, Wales and Uruguay in Pool A. McKee anticipates a tough contest against giants Australia, Wales and hosts England.
He also put out the challenge that the tier one teams should lose some of their matches and Fiji should win in some.
“We know we got very tough matches, the Pools will be very interesting because we have to win some games and Wales, England and Australia are going to lose some games.
“The final two that will go through will be very interesting,” McKee said.
“I believe we will be a better team than we were in the last RWC.”
Fiji will head to the UK two weeks before the game, which McKee said would be a better opportunity for the players to acclimatise.
“We will go to the UK two weeks earlier and the reason why we are going earlier because we need to acclimatise to the UK weather after training in Fiji,” he said.
“We are playing game with Canada which is a full international test match and we go to our team camp on September 9.”
McKee believes Fiji’s set pieces have improved since November 2013 and last year’s November tour, Fiji contested the scrum and line-out well against Wales and France and this was one area McKee would need to work on before September.
“It’s always a work on, you know I have been involved with the team now for two campaigns, if you look at our set play from November 2013 to November 2014 our set plays scrums and line out have improved,” he said.
“We still got a lot of work to do we are really heading into the right direction and certainly our scrums against Wales and France last November worked well we didn’t have problems with penalties against we won our ball and put pressure on theirs.
“We want good steady ball from our set play, you look at the Northern Hemisphere teams we need to be up to the mark and that’s our big work from now till September 18.”