SPORTS

Flying Fijians: McKee Pleased With 3-Day Camp

30 players were expected but 35 turned up for the 3-day camp in Toulouse, France. It’s the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign which starts in Japan in Septem­ber.
10 Mar 2019 19:03
Flying Fijians: McKee Pleased With 3-Day Camp
Some members of the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians during their first camp in Toulouse, France. Photo: Tevita Cavubati

John McKee could not have asked for a better profession­al response from the Fiji Air­ways Flying Fijians squad mem­bers in Europe.

And 35 players attended with Le­vani Botia, Setareki Tuicuvu and Peni Ravai returning to full train­ing following long term injuries.

Head coach McKee was over­whelmed with the three-day camp in Toulouse, France which ended on Thursday. It’s the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign which starts in Japan in Septem­ber.

It was a screening camp to look at the players physically and also medically to pick up any injuries they might have and to reconnect with the Fijian programme.

“Excellent, spot on, could not have asked for a better profes­sional response from our men in Europe,”McKee said.

“Objectives of the camp were achieved. Very pleasing for me to see the level of commitment and fo­cus from the players when looking at the Flying Fijians plans towards RWC 2019.

“I was expecting 30 but 35 attend­ed which was most pleasing.”

He said the notable absentees were Edinburgh’s Viliame Mata, Newcastle Falcons’ Vereniki Go­neva and Stade Francais’ Waisea Nayacalevu.

“The three were required by their clubs for medical treatment with Goneva recovering from ham­string and calf injuries to Mata and Nayacalevu.

“I was very pleased with the way things ran. The primary purpose was for medical and fitness screen­ing. We now have up to date infor­mation on all these players current medical and fitness status. Overall fitness tending up which shows good commitment from these play­ers.

“There is no serious injuries to report from this group. Just the normal niggles you would expect at this stage of this season (5 months in). Good to see Ravai, Tuicuvu and Botia all back to full training following long term injuries.

“We need to keep an ongoing tracking of performance along with regular communication to the end of the European season.

“With just under 200 days to go before our first game against Aus­tralia in Sapporro on September 21, we really need to work on put­ting the detail around our training programme across July, August and early September leading to our departure for Japan on Sept 6.

LOCAL PLAYERS

“We need to make sure our lo­cal players work hard in the daily training environment to put them­selves in the best position for the 1stselection come July.

“I’m very happy with the Swire Shipping Fijian Warriors getting off to a good start at World Rugby Pacific Challenge against Tonga A on Friday.”

McKee will return to Fiji in time to watch the last round of the PRC match between the Fiji Warriors and Samoa

“He will then travel to Japan on March 22-31for site visits and logis­tical planning around all our RWC training & match venues and ac­commodations.

RWC fixtures: September 21, 4.45pm (FJ) vs Australia, Sapporro Dome; Sept 25, 5.15pm (FJ) vs Uru­guay, Kamaishi Stadium; October 3, 5.15pm (FJ) vs Georgia, Hanazo­mo Stadium; October 9, 9,45pm (FJ) vs Wales, Oita Stadium.

Edited by Leone Cabenatbua

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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