SPORTS

Closely Monitored

McKee plans ahead as players’ weight and fitness will now be checked as a build-up to next year’s Rugby World Cup. Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee is
19 Jun 2018 09:57
Closely Monitored
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians (left-right) Jale Vatubua, Manasa Saulo, Viliame Mata, Kini Murimurivalu, John Pryor (coaching staff), Vereriki Goneva, Ben Volavola at Albert Park, Suva on June 18, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

McKee plans ahead as players’ weight and fitness will now be checked as a build-up to next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee is already working ahead as they gear up for Saturday’s Test clash against Tonga at Churchill Park, Lautoka.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday McKee said, he’s working towards the Europe tour in November.

The Flying Fijians take on Scot­land on November 10 at the Mur­rayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Uruguay on November 17 and France on November 24 at the Sta­de de France in Saint Denis.

McKee said after the Tonga game on Saturday some of the Europe-based players would return to their clubs.

He added that they are focused on playing against the Tier One na­tions like France and Scotland.

“It’s really important for us to build momentum towards the 2019 Rugby World Cup,” McKee said.

“We will be putting a lot of pres­sure on our players and we will be giving them some markers before they go away. It will be like their school work and also they’ll know our expectations around their fit­ness and body weight.

“We will be closely monitoring that before our November tour to Europe. Each time we come in to assemble we’ve got to be a step-up and this time we will be playing Scotland France and Uruguay.

“With two tier one teams that is a really massive tour for us and I think we need to beat tier one teams away from home. So that is going to be our target so we need the players to be ready when they come into camp”

TOUGH TONGANS

McKee said they are expecting a very physical contest against Ton­ga. The team had their recovery session at Albert Park in Suva.

McKee said a few players are nursing minor injuries but they are working on sharpening a few areas of their play before the Ton­gan game.

“This is still part of our recov­ery. Everyone has a few cuts and bruises so we need to have them set and ready for a physical game this week.

“There was a lot of focus towards Georgia about the physicality but I think the Tongans will be more tougher and more physical than the Georgians.”

McKee said the forwards would need to match the Tongans up front.

“Our forward pack will really need to step-up, the Tongans is building a good team and seeing that they ran us so close last year in Nuku’alofa. They are still think­ing about that but it is going to be a big battle in the weekend over in Lautoka.

“We have to be on top of our game. We created some opportunities but we didn’t finish them because we didn’t execute well.

“That is what we’re looking for in our backs to be accurate in their execution so that we finish off the opportunities that we’ve created.”

NAGUSA FOR UK?

McKee also confirmed that a club in Europe is now having talks with No.8 Nemani Nagusa.

“I believe Nagusa is in negotia­tion with a club in Europe which could be Newcastle but I don’t whether it has been finalised,” he added.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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