Fijiana XV captain Leilanie Burnes is confident of a positive outing in the 2017 Women Rugby World Cup qualifier in Hong Kong next week.
The team presented their Itatau (traditional presentation) to the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote at the State House yesterday.
Burnes said they know what the Hong Kong and Japan sides are capable of. But she is positive their hard work will pay off against HK on December 9 and Japan on December 13
The top two teams will qualify for Women Rugby World Cup in Dublin next year.
“We really believe that to win we need to be well prepared,” Burnes said.
“We have had a look at some of the games the Hong Kong team actually had against Japan this year and last year.
“We’ve been analysing their strengths and weaknesses and how we can best use that to our advantage.
“Both Hong Kong and Japan will be tough teams to play against in terms of their fitness and speed but we got that Fijian flair.
“Our team has got a lot of experienced players and also some new ones who are quite quick.
“I am confident that we will do well out there.”
Since the team’s first match against Papua New Guinea last month, Burnes said they have stepped up a lot.
“Our preparation has really been out there, as a team we have been really uniting and gelling well which is very good,” she said.
“Our coaches has been fantastic and instilling within us discipline and hard work.
“We’ve really stepped it up in terms of where we were when we played against PNG.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game ahead of us, especially with Japan and Hong Kong but we are ready for that challenge and ready to do the country proud and get out there and qualify for the 2017 Women Rugby World Cup.”
The President said:
“I have no doubt that you will do well in Hong Kong. The Vodafone Flying Fijians did well on their European tour although they lost to the Barbarians and England, they played really well against Japan and maintained their world ranking in the top 10.
“Coaches Seremaia Bai and Ro Alifereti Doviverata have come back to share their knowledge and prepare and develop you. There will be no easy match but if you train and prepare yourself well, you will do well. We wish you luck and safe travel, look after one another and I have no doubt that you will come back home victorious.”
Meanwhile, Coach Seremaia Bai said taking the girls to a new environment and playing Hong Kong in their home ground will not be an issue.
“The only thing we can control is ourselves, how we can prepare and how to come together as a team, those are the things that we can control,” Bai said.
“We need to keep to what we know and stick to that and when we go there it will be nothing different.
“We would probably need to adjust to the weather but apart from that we are expecting a tough game as Hong Kong will be playing in their home ground.”
The Fijiana XV departs on Sunday for Hong Kong.