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Two More Years For McKee

  The Fiji Rugby Union has extended Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee’s contract for another two years. This will enable McKee to take the team to the 2019
01 Jul 2017 10:55
Two More Years For McKee
From left: Fiji Rugby Union board chairman Francis Kean congratulates Vodafone Flying Fijians head John McKee at Rugby House, Suva on June 30, 2017. Photo: Fiji Rugby Union

 

The Fiji Rugby Union has extended Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee’s contract for another two years.

This will enable McKee to take the team to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

McKee was appointed as head coach in 2014 and his biggest win so far was the 27-22 win over Scotland last weekend.

But the 25-14 win over Italy in 2014 was his first major win over a Tier One nation since their 38-34 win over Wales at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

“I want to thank the FRU for putting their faith in me and believing that I have the plans to take rugby forward to the 2019 RWC,” McKee said.

“We have a huge challenge ahead of us. But I am confident with the players we have and what they have done as a group in the lead up through to the June test series.

“We are in a very good position to do well in our RWC qualification against Tonga and Samoa and achieve our goal as Oceania’s number one.

“I am happy with where we are heading, we certainly have not got to the end of the road or on the top of the mountain yet.

“We still got a lot of work to do to come anywhere near to achieving our goals in 2019. Realistically, given that we play well in the next two weeks and qualify for the RWC, we have got to go to the World Cup with the goal of getting into the playoffs and that is a massive challenge.

“You look at the quality of the teams around the world, I am happy with where we are and that we have made a lot of progress and I know we need to be better.

“The players need to learn to work a bit harder to reach new heights required.

“I think we need to be better in our pathway as well to make sure we are giving tomorrow’s Flying Fijians ample support whether they are 17 or 18-year olds. We give them ample support to help them reach their true potential.”

With two years to prepare for the RWC in 2019 compared to the couple months during the 2015 RWC,  McKee said the goal now is to identify the final squad that they want for 2019 and have them play together as much as possible.

“This time around will be quite a different scenario, I have been working with the team for three years now,” he said.

“I think we got a good blend of experience in the squad but also younger players are starting to come in the squad as well.

“The priority now is to qualify and really build for 2019 and really settle on the core of our squad.

“If we can settle through our top group of 28 players and play that group together as much as we can in as many campaigns and test matches together that will prepare us very well for 2019.”

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

 



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