SPORTS

McKee’s Visit Boosts Team

John McKee provided an extra boost to the Vodafone Fijian 7s team ahead of the Sydney 7s. The Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach met up with the team at St
05 Feb 2016 10:47
McKee’s Visit Boosts Team
Savenaca Rawaca

John McKee provided an extra boost to the Vodafone Fijian 7s team ahead of the Sydney 7s.

The Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach met up with the team at St Joseph’s College ground during their training session on Wednesday and yesterday.

Coach Ben Ryan welcomes McKee’s support for this weekend and said the boys were excited to see the Flying Fijians mentor around.

“Great to see John and have him with us for this weekend,” Ryan said.

Not only McKee would be assisting the team for this weekend but Ryan also hopes that a few of his boys will get a tick into McKee’s squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“7s and 15s have a joined up approach and I hope some of the current 7s squad will be in the 2019 RWC squad if they continue to play as well as they are,” Ryan said.

The team concluded their one hour high intense training yesterday.

The kickers will work with their mentor Jeremy Manning in polishing up their techniques today.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week coaches of the 16 participating teams had discussions with the referees to ensure the teams agree on the interpretation of the laws and coaches to clarify few things on the areas of the game to avoid misunderstandings.

Ryan will confirm his 12 member team at 12pm today. The only confirmed change so far is the inclusion of Viliame Mata.

 

Speight in Oz Squad

Australia sevens head coach Andy Friend has named his first squad since taking the helm, backing his experienced troops for the HSBC Sydney Sevens this weekend.

Ed Jenkins, who became a father last week, returns to captain the side for the inaugural Sydney tournament, where the home nation will be greeted by the “house full” sign at Allianz Stadium after the fourth 2015-16 World Rugby Sevens Series event was sold out nine days out from kick off.

A week after a youthful Aussie squad fought valiantly for a fifth-place finish in Wellington, Friend has made five changes to the squad for Sydney, including the return of Jenkins, star back Cameron Clark and Wallabies test winger Henry Speight.

Speight will play his first Sevens tournament on home soil having been named in the final 12 and will add big game experience to the side, having been a part of the Qantas Wallabies squad that made it to the Rugby World Cup final.

Fellow Wallabies recruit Quade Cooper will have to wait for his first opportunity in the Sevens format, after he was omitted from the final squad for Sydney after completing a single training session with the team fresh off a flight from Paris yesterday.

“We’ve had a great preparation this week and there has certainly been that extra bit of intensity in training ahead of what is a big occasion for the boys playing in front of a huge home crowd,” said Friend.

“There are always tough calls to make regarding selection but we are really happy with the balance of the team and confident that they’ll rise to the occasion and produce their best footy this weekend.

“Quade is an exceptional footballer and has shown real character to put his hand up and say I want to be part of this team and work hard for this opportunity. That’s exactly what you want.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he will be a tremendous addition to the squad as we build towards Rio, but due to circumstances which were beyond Quade’s control, and our control, he just couldn’t get enough work in this week with the team.”

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