Aust Test in 2017

Fiji will host Wales and Scotland either at Churchill Park or ANZ Stadium.   The Vodafone Flying Fijians will play the Wallabies in Melbourne, Australia, in June next year. And
27 Jul 2016 10:44
Aust Test in 2017
Vodafone Flying Fijian Nemani Nadolo on the attack against Australia during the 2015 World Cup in Cardiff, Wales.

Fiji will host Wales and Scotland either at Churchill Park or ANZ Stadium.


The Vodafone Flying Fijians will play the Wallabies in Melbourne, Australia, in June next year.

And Fiji will host Scotland and Wales either at the Churchill Park, Lautoka or at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

This was confirmed by Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee who is currently attending a High Performance Optimisation Programme organised by World Rugby in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

“Definitely playing Australia in Oz and Scotland in Fiji,” McKee said.

“The final tour schedule for the Wales’ Pacific Islands Tour has not been finalized, but we are definitely playing Wales.

“We will also play Samoa and Tonga in the Pacific Nations Cup which also serves as a 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier.”

The last time Fiji hosted the Wallabies was in 1984 at the ANZ Stadium in Suva where they won 16-3.

And the last time Australia hosted Fiji was in Canberra in 2015 where they won the one-off test 49-3.

It took Fiji another five years to play the Wallabies and that was at the 2015RWC where the Michael Cheika’s team again prevailed 28-13 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The last time Fiji hosted Wales was in 1994 in Suva won by the visitors 23-8.

The last time Fiji hosted Scotland was in 2012 in Lautoka.

McKee aims to buck the trend by playing more test matches against prominent rugby nations as a build-up to the 2019RWC.

Playing the Pacific Islands neighbours Tonga, Samoa and the Europe Tour in November is not sufficient for Fiji to be better primed for the RWC.

McKee, who has the full four-year term to prepare Fiji for the 2019RWC in Japan, earlier told The Daily Telegraph he was excited about the team’s potential.

“Previously Fiji has tended to start planning for World Cups 18 months out whereas this time we’ve got the full four years,”McKee said.

‘We’re going to have a lot of talented players and good depth in our squad.

“We’ve got a good core group of players around 21, 22 years who are just starting to hit their strides.

“There are a number of sevens rugby players that post- Rio Olympics will switch over and I expect them to make their mark.”


Opportunity For Hayne

McKee said this is a perfect opportunity for Jarryd Hayne to make a mark in rugby.

“I spoke with Jarryd in Fiji in June.He is very interested in our Test match programme towards 2019. I told him that if he is playing rugby I will definitely consider him for selection for the Flying Fijians.

“As always Flying Fijians selection depends on form and we will always endeavour to select the best team possible to represent Fiji.

The 28-year-old Hayne would give the Test match a huge marketing boost were he to line up for the Pacific Islanders.

Hayne has yet to make a decision on his future but has now met twice with the ARU about the potential of joining the Waratahs in Super Rugby while he also has big offers to return to the NRL.

McKee believes Hayne has the necessary skills to transition from a league fullback into a rugby No.12.

“He could be a very good No.12, people think of him coming from league as going from fullback to fullback but I think he could work well at inside centre,” McKee said.

“Jarryd is a very skilful footballer. He really understands the game in terms of manipulating the defence.

“The important thing is he has got a good understanding of playing close to the line and being able to use a variety of plays.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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