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More Tests: McKee

  John McKee confirmed more Tier One tests are in line for the Vodafone Flying Fijians in 2016. Coach McKee yesterday was happy with World Rugby Tier Two Conference held
30 Nov 2015 13:43
More Tests: McKee
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee.

 

John McKee confirmed more Tier One tests are in line for the Vodafone Flying Fijians in 2016.

Coach McKee yesterday was happy with World Rugby Tier Two Conference held in Los Angeles, United States last week.

The conference was a chance for Tier Two nations to get an insight of their test match schedules and McKee said Fiji can expect to play a few Tier One nations on their November tour.

“The conference was beneficial for us to get face to face with some of the key people from World Rugby and to discuss the RWC with the other Tier 2 Nations,” McKee said.

“The test match schedule for us over the next cycle is looking good with at least two Tier One nations on November Tour and some interesting possibilities for us in the June windows.”

All Tier Two countries; Samoa, Tonga, Japan, United States, Canada, Georgia, Portugal, Russia, Uruguay and Namibia attended the conference.

The conference also highlighted areas from the 2015 RWC which could be improved for the next RWC in Japan.

“It was beneficial to look at the lead up to the RWC and how the test and camp schedule worked out for everyone and what improvements could be made for Japan 2019,” he said.

Investment pays dividends

Meanwhile, investment in high performance and specialist coaching, competition structure and strength and conditioning were the key drivers for the on-field gains enjoyed by tier two nations at the recent Rugby World Cup.

This was revealed by Mark Egan, World Rugby’s head of competition and performance.

Egan’s view was universally endorsed by the high performance managers and head coaches who attended the conference in Los Angeles which looked into the performances of the Tier Two nations at the RWC.

“The past couple of days has enabled us to test the perception that the RWC was successful one for the Tier Two rugby nations. After breaking down all the various statistics, I’m pleased to say there are many areas where there have been positive improvements such as higher success rates at scrum and lineout and in the retention of possession. By the same token it has also highlighted the areas where we need to work a lot harder over the next four-year cycle,” said Egan.

Tier Two nations as a whole conceded fewer points and scored more tries against their Tier One rivals at RWC 2015 than in any previous tournament.

The World Rugby-funded measures put in place over the last Rugby World Cup cycle – amounting to £10 million per annum – contributed enormously to the closing of the gap.

justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

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