SPORTS

Fijian Special In Japan

Flying Fijians head coach John McKee selected Doloko­to for the Northern tour based on his stellar perfor­mances for the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua last year.
17 Feb 2019 12:26
Fijian Special In Japan
Flying Fijians forward Mesulame Dolokoto receiving the XVS Male player of the year winner award on behalf of Semi Radradra during the FRU Awards night at the GPH Suva on February 9,2019.Photo:Simione Haravanua.

Mesulame Dolokoto believes the Fiji Airways Flying Fi­jians can do special things at the 2019 Japan Rugby World Cup in September.

The 23-year old hooker made his test debut in the 17-54 loss against Scotland at Murrayfield during the Northern tour last year. The Savusavu, Cakaudrove native is optimistic of making the cut to Ja­pan, drawing encouragement from his performances against Scotland, Uruguay and France.

He played an important role as a late substitute in helping protect Fiji’s 21-17 lead against France, in what turned out to be a historic win last November. During one of the highlights of the game, Dolokoto held his ground against a late French scrum with Leone Na­karawa urging him to stay firm from the background because “the French players are only humans.”

A video of the scrum was shared more than 500 times on the popular social network site, Twitter.

“That moment when Na­karawa was screaming at me during the scrum was mas­sively encouraging, espe­cially coming from a player like him,” Dolokoto said.

He believes the team will have to raise their stand­ards in Japan if success is to be achieved on the grand stage of rugby.

“All the teams will now start looking at us as poten­tial giant-killers so I think the boys will need to step up fur­ther and maintain those stand­ards,” he said.

“The World Cup is a dif­ferent level from the northern tour so we will need to be at our best if we are to achieve success. This team has the potential to do something special because we are a tight-knit group – both senior and junior players – so I’m confident of our chances.”

The Brumbies academy gradu­ate wants to work on his fit­ness and scrummaging before the Flying Fijians march into camp for the June-July tests.

“My chances of being se­lected will depend on the hard work I do in training,” he said.

“The team has a lot of tal­ented players, but if I stay focussed I know everything will work out.”

Flying Fijians head coach John McKee selected Doloko­to for the Northern tour based on his stellar perfor­mances for the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua last year.

The Drua experi­ence helped him en­hance his reputation as sturdy for­ward with valuable passing and tackling abilities. His first chance to impress this season will come dur­ing the Skipper Cup Premiership that starts in April.

Dolokoto has been included in the Suva squad for the new season and wants to help the team defend the Skipper Cup this year.

“It will be tough domestic season this year, especially coming up against my Drua and Flying Fijians teammates,” he said.

“I want to focus on making the cut to the world cup so I’ll be working really hard throughout the sea­son.”

Fiji are in Pool D with Australia, Wales, Geor­gia, Uruguay.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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