SPORTS

Haden Backs Flying Fijians

Former All Blacks star lock forward Andy Haden is betting on the Vodafone Flying Fijians to take the Australian Wallabies to the wire in their Test clash on June 10
23 May 2017 11:00
Haden Backs Flying Fijians
From left: Setareki Takubu, Trisha Haden, Viliame Samusamuvodre, Andy Haden and Isaia Vuki at Namotomoto village in Nadi on May 22, 2017. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Former All Blacks star lock forward Andy Haden is betting on the Vodafone Flying Fijians to take the Australian Wallabies to the wire in their Test clash on June 10 in Melbourne.

Haden who played for the All Black from 1972 to 1985 said this is a good time to play the Wallabies who are still struggling to find their form.

“The Wallabies are not in great shape at the moment and Fiji can use their exciting game to surprise them,” Haden said.

The last time the Flying Fijians beat the Wallabies was in 1954.

“I’m sure they will play well against them and they have beaten the Australians before. They need to keep working on the fifteens like they’ve done with their sevens programme.”

With majority of the Fijian players playing in Europe, the 66-year-old is fascinated with the talents of blockbusting Josua Tuisova, Nemani Nadolo, Levani Botia and Peceli Yato.

“Fiji has lots of good players and you see them all over the world now.

“Almost all top teams around the world have got one Fijian player but there are lots of talents in the islands too.

“It’s good to see that rugby provides opportunities for these young players to earn their living.”

The Flying Fijians last played the Wallabies in the pool stage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup where they went down 28-13.

Looking back Hayden says, one of the highlights of his career was playing alongside fiery Fijian flanker Ilami Lutumailagi when they were members of the World XVs in 1980.

“We played in Sydney and our team also included former Argentinean star first five eight Hugo Porta.”

CLASSIC ALL BLACKS

Haden who was responsible for the coming over of the Classic All Blacks in 2013 says, they can return provided if given an invitation.

“What we did last time was we helped out in the Fiji Rugby’s centenary celebration and how other countries could not send a team. So we invited the Classic All Blacks and if we are invited we will come,” he added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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