Rugby | SPORTS

John Mckee Outlines Areas To Work On

McKee added that the way they have structured the Flying Fijians programme for this year is different in that they have set different focuses for each phase of the training.
03 Jul 2019 17:40
John Mckee Outlines Areas To Work On
Flying Fijians squad members during training at Albert Park on July 2, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee has put together a strong coaching staff as they prepare the team for the upcoming Maori All Blacks matches, Pacific Nations Cup and the Rugby World Cup in September.

Mckee told FRU Media yesterday that the coaching staff are fully prepared and looking forward to hitting the ground with the players.

“I’m very excited about our first assembly this week,” he said.

“It’s very important camp for us as we build up towards the Rugby World Cup. There has been a lot of work that goes into planning the programme.”

McKee added that the way they have structured the Flying Fijians programme for this year is different in that they have set different focuses for each phase of the training.

“Certainly at the start for the first block and leading into the Maori All Blacks games, our big focus will be around the ruck areas. I can see this is going to be a critical area for performance in the Rugby World Cup,” he highlighted.

McKee’s work in putting down a structure for the Flying Fijians had been praised by Wallabies forwards coach Simon Raiwalui, who is also a Fijian 43-Test veteran.

“Also our defence as it is massively important. We know we have got very good attacking players who can score tries. We equally need to have world class defence so we will be putting a lot of focus on the defence from the start of our campaign.”

McKee has left no stones unturned as he has also recruited world class technical and strength and conditioning coaches to help him ensure the World Cup team will be one of the best prepared Flying Fijians team.

FITNESS

He said despite the players coming off professional environment, they will still focus on improving their fitness level to test match levels.

“We need to balance the fitness side of training with improving ourselves technically around our skills and also improving ourselves tactically around the game plan and team strategy”

“In the Rugby World Cup there will be a lot of ball in play time and high speed running in matches which is something some of our players maybe not used to.

“These includes those coming from professional overseas clubs. So our conditioning needs to be specific to the intensities required so that the players can play full game no matter who the opposition is.”

McKee said they will also put a high priority on team culture and behaviours which plays a vital part in the performance of a team.

“We can have the world class programme, coaches and players but if the players don’t really follow the team culture and behaviour on a daily basis it will affect the team performance.”

The Flying Fijians begins is campaign against Maori All Blacks on July 13 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva and then face each other in the return leg in Rotorua on July 20.

Edited by Grace Narayan

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