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EDITORIAL: Playing Times Suit Fiji Airways Flying Fijians, Rugby Fans

EDITORIAL: Playing Times Suit Fiji Airways Flying Fijians, Rugby Fans
November 05
15:06 2017

Fijian rugby fans won’t have to wake up early in the morning to watch the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians rumble at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Unlike the 2015 RWC in England, many of the games have kick-off times suitable to Fiji’s time zone with being Japan four hours behind.

The John McKee-coached side open the tournament against their toughest opponent in their pool, Australia, in Sapporo on September 21 at 4.45pm.

The second game against Americas Two, which will be either Uruguay or Canada, will be on September 25 at 5.15pm in Kamaishi.

The third game against Georgia is set for October 3 in Oita at 5.15pm and the last pool game will be against Wales on October 8 at 9.45pm.

This is a total contrast from the ‘Pool of Death’ in 2015 where Fiji played the first three games against tier one rugby nations.

Despite our brave effort, our men lost 35-11 to England, 28-13 to Australia and 23-13 to Wales before thumping Uruguay 47-15.

The good spread in 2019 augurs well for the Flying Fijians and puts them in fighting chance to qualify for the Cup quarter-final.

We have two tier one nations where we played one in the first pool game (Australia) and the  last one(Wales).

We have never beaten Australia in 63 years and this is a challenge for McKee’s men to topple the Wallabies.

We only beat Wales once at the 2007 RWC 38-34 to reach the Cup quarterfinal.

McKee welcomed the schedule and could not be happier.     

He said from Toulouse, France yesterday: “The 2019 RWC match schedule looks good for us. The Australian match will be good for us as an opener and I’m pleased not to have a tier one match after our short turnaround between matches against Americas Two and Georgia.

“A lot will happen between now and RWC 2019. We will focus on building and improving our game to ensure we are absolutely ready for RWC 2019. It is easier to prepare for afternoon games as there is no disruption to our normal daily routines and the team will train around the same time as we play. I would expect the conditions to suit us as the ball will be dry.”

The first semifinal is on October 26 at 9pm and the second is the next day at 10pm,

The World Cup final will be at 10pm on November 2.

We have ample time to prepare for the global event and compete with the best. Fans can look forward, support and hope our Flying Fijians punch above their weight in the Land of the Rising Sun.


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