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McKee Turns To Rolland

McKee Turns To Rolland
LESSONS FROM THE TOP: Fiji are benefiting from the experience of retired interntaional referee Alain Rolland
September 14
10:24 2015

Fiji head coach John McKee (NZL) has enlisted retired Irish referee Alain Rolland to help his team in the run-up to Saturday’s (Fiji Time) opening match of the Rugby World Cup 2015 against England.

Rolland spent time with the Flying Fijians at their training ground, London Irish RFC, Sunbury-on-Thames, on Friday in a continuation of a relationship that began at the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) earlier this year. The main focus has been to improve the team’s technical awareness to cut down on the number of penalties awarded against them.

“At this level a high penalty count can be very costly,” said McKee, adding he was concerned about Fiji being penalised for infringements in rucks.

McKee revealed that the Fiji coaching team first spoke to Rolland before the PNC final against Samoa on 3 August which was “very beneficial”.

Fiji won that match 39-29 with 12 of Samoa’s points coming from penalty conversions by Michael Stanley.

Rolland’s relationship with Fiji has continued in the run-up to RWC 2015. He worked with the team ahead of their warm-up match against Canada at Twickenham Stoop on 6 September.

“In the Canada game our penalty count was only seven which was a significant decrease from what we had before,” said McKee.

McKee added that the team had been working on aspects such as rolling away from tackles and staying on their feet.

“It’s just one of many things that we do to make sure that players are very clear in the requirements of the game.”


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