Editorial

Editorial: All Eyes On Rugby World Cup

Since the inaugural event in 1987 the four yearly global showpiece is building from strength to strength.
11 Mar 2019 11:02
Editorial: All Eyes On Rugby World Cup
The Tavarua Island Resort staff pose with the Webb Ellis Cup at Tavarua Island.

It’s gearing up to be a 2019 Rugby World Cup with a difference.

Since the inaugural event in 1987 the four yearly global showpiece is building from strength to strength.

And the alteration of the top end of rugby’s pecking order recently will make the Tokyo event more interesting.

Therefore we must be proud of our Fiji Airways Flying Fijians, currently ranked ninth by World Rugby, for being the only Tier Two nation shaking the top heavyweights of the game.

The Fijians showed that with the right mix of skill, passion, commitment and discipline, rugby giants can fall.

The 21-14 win over France in November is an important milestone and the Flying Fijians can only strive to do better at the RWC

It’s an important achievement and the onus is on the John McKee-coached side to keep the consistency, which means preparations are important building up to the RWC.

We have never beaten Australia, who we meet in Sapporo, Japan, on September 21, in 63 years and that’s another challenge.

Since taking over the reigns as head coach of the Flying Fijians, McKee has never beaten Wales, who we meet on October 8.

It is important we beat one or both Tier One nations if we are to qualify for the RWC quarterfinals.

We can’t afford to underestimate our other Pool D opponents Georgia and Uruguay, who are ranked 12th and 16th respectively.

A lot will happen between now and RWC 2019 less than 200 days away. The Flying Fijians will need to focus on building and improving their game to ensure they are absolutely ready for the RWC 2019.

We have ample time to prepare for the global event and compete with the best. While pool opponents Wales and Australia are taking part in the top quality competition, McKee’s men home and away games against New Zealand Maori in July will be out final prep before the team leaves for Japan on September 6.

McKee was overwhelmed with the three-day camp in Toulouse last week.

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

McKee will also travel to Japan in late March to finalise the team base and camps, inspecting the facilities closely and to make sure that all the logistics are ironed out at each venue.

What the training facilities are, accommodations, rooming arrangements and other arrangements for when the World Cup assault takes place.

McKee is working on the finer details before the showdown on September 21 against the Wallabies at the Sapporo Dome.

Onus is on the Flying Fijians to go the extra yards and make this RWC memorable for all Fijians.

Feedback: osea.bola@fijisun.com.fj

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