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Fiji Airways Flying Fijians tight-head prop Manasa Saulo is confident Fiji can beat tier one teams at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. And he is challenging his fellow
24 Dec 2018 10:50
UP GAME
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians prop forward Manasa Saulo.

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians tight-head prop Manasa Saulo is confident Fiji can beat tier one teams at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

And he is challenging his fellow Fijians to lift their game and make a mark like never before at the four yearly global showpiece.

Speaking to SUNsports from London, England yesterday, the London Irish player said winning in Japan will depend on players meeting their individual pre- world cup training goals.

“Personally, I am fit and ready,” the Naitasiri native said.

“We all have different goals to meet prior to next year’s June-July tests and success in Japan will depend on how best and committed we prepare.

“The onus is on us to do our part to enable to crack the code at the four-yearly event.

“We reached the quarterfinals twice (1987, 2007) and we need to go beyond that.

“And to achieve that, we need to beat tier one nations.”

The Fijians are in Pool D with Australia, Wales, Uruguay and Georgia.

The John-McKee coached side play Australia (4.45pm Fiji time) in Sapporro on September 21, Uruguay (5.15pm) on September 25 in Kamaishi, Georgia (5.15pm) on October 3 in Hanazono and Wales (9.45pm) on October 9 in Oita.

Saulo said the Fijians set the platform in a perfect buildup with a 21-14 win over France last month.

“The win against France was an indication that we can beat tier one nations,” he said.

“We can beat any team if we maintain our focus and discipline. The job we have ahead won’t be easy but the team needs to be ready and united for the cause.”

He said they need to counter the rolling mauls effectively in test rugby.

Australian flanker David Pocock scored two tries against Fiji at the 2015 RWC.

The maul issue resurfaced again in the Europe Tour last month against Scotland as lock forwards Leone Nakarawa and Tevita Cavubati were yellow carded for collapsing the rolling maul.

“There are techniques to stop the rolling mauls and it depends on the teams we are playing,”Saulo said.

Saulo’s club, the London Irish is on course for promotion to the Gallagher Premiership Rugby in 2019.

The prop forward says he is open to signing a new contract with the club, owned by Digicel boss Dennis O’Brien, should he be offered one.

“It depends on the club, if they want me I am staying with the Exiles,” he said.

-edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 



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