SPORTS

Need To Man Up

The 22-year-old  is working hard to be part of the Flying Fijians family at the Rugby World Cup in September. Prop Eroni Mawi believes the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians will
22 Jan 2019 10:06
Need To Man Up
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians players from left: Eroni Mawi and Frank Lomani in Suva on January 21, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua.

The 22-year-old  is working hard to be part of the Flying Fijians family at the Rugby World Cup in September.

Prop Eroni Mawi believes the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians will need to dig deep and challenge themselves to achieve success at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Mawi, who was hard at training with the  Fiji Rugby Union’s High Performance Unit (HPU) yesterday, is confident of making the team to Japan.

The 22-year-old feels he has to work harder to keep his fitness level at a high standard in the build-up to Fiji’s June-July tests and the World Cup.

“I’m feeling very hyped at the moment. I’m just working on my fitness and I’m really looking forward to the World Cup,” Mawi said.

Last year was a breakthrough year for the young forward after emerging from the Swire Shipping Fiji Warriors and Fiji Airways Fijian Drua setup.

Mawi made his test debut against Samoa in a close 24-22 win.

He has played four more times for Fiji since his debut, including 31 minutes in the historic 24-17 win against France in November last year.

In that game at the Stade de France in Paris, Mawi had a tackle completion rate of 100 per cent, according to RUGBYPASS statistics.

The Tovu, Totoya, Lau native’s tackling prowess was crucial for the Fijians in resisting a strong French onslaught in the dying moments of the game.

Mawi believes it was the belief and team spirit within the John McKee-coached squad that helped them overcome France.

He said: “That game against France was really special. Everyone was focussed on one thing only and the team had a different, almost unreal, atmosphere.

“Another thing that got us over the line was the bond between the players. It was excellent; we knew we would all have each other’s back no matter what the French would throw our way.”

The forward is one of few top talents to shun the possibility of playing overseas this year, instead preferring to stay in Fiji and focus on RWC selection.

Mawi says he wants to prove himself on the grandest stage of rugby and get a better contract next year.

“We are being monitored by the HPU and they’ve told us we will become more marketable after the World Cup,” he said.

“I’ve decided it would be better to stay here and improve on my skills so I’m ready when the World Cup comes.”

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians halfback Frank Lomani also turned down an offer to join Wasps in Premiership Rugby.

Lomani and Mawi have been named in the Naitasiri squad to prepare for the 2019 Skipper Cup Premiership competition.

They are likely to be included in the Fiji team to take part in the Global Rapid Rugby competition which starts next month.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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