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Southern Comp Good For Our Locals: McKee

Southern Comp Good For Our Locals: McKee
Frank Lomani
May 05
10:00 2018

 

John McKee welcomes more rugby competitions in the Southern Hemisphere to keep local players closer at home.

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach said the World Series Rugby which started in Perth last night between the Swire Shipping Fijian Warriors was an ideal tournament which will benefit local players in the long run.

“More professional rugby in the Southern Hemisphere could be a good thing as it would enable us to keep some of our best young players closer to home,”McKee said.

“Eventually the best will go to Europe where there is more opportunity but hopefully better pathways into Super Rugby open up for Fiji qualified players.

“We are already in the Rugby Australia National Rugby Championship and with the World Rugby Pacific Rugby Challenge and the new Pacific Combine initiative hopefully these professional opportunities open up in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Halfback Frank Loamni’s opportunity with the Rebels is a case in point.

“This has come out of Fiji’s NwRC participation and the World Rugby Pacific Challenge.

“I hope to see more of our most talented young players go down this pathway.”

Meanwhile McKee told the West Australian that the new WSR laws, including seven-point long-range tries, will suit Fijians running style.

“It will suit the Fijian style of play and our ability to counter attack and play from far out,” he said. “That is the natural flair for the Fiji boys, to play with the ball in hand.”

WSR is bankrolled by mining magnate Andrew Forrest as part of his plan to resurrect the Force after its Super Rugby axing.

“If we can create opportunities for Fiji to have a more professional game, it would be a positive thing,” he said.

“If we could have avenues for players to play in Fiji for longer in a professional environment, then ultimately they will get a better pathway and we will see results. There is an imbalance between the northern and southern hemispheres in terms of professional opportunities and if we can develop more in the southern hemisphere, it will help national teams and the support for the sport.”

WSR is bankrolled by mining magnate Andrew Forrest as part of his plan to resurrect the Force after its Super Rugby axing. WSR is bankrolled by mining magnate Andrew Forrest as part of his plan to resurrect the Force after its Super Rugby axing.

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