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Tabai Matson Appointed As Assistant Coach For Flying Fijians

Born in Nausori, the 46-year played an instrumental role for the Flying Fijians during the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England being the attack coach.
08 Jun 2019 12:47
Tabai Matson Appointed As Assistant Coach For Flying Fijians
Tabai Matson

Gallagher Chiefs assistant coach Tabai Matson is excited to be back for duty for his motherland.

This was after his appointment as Fiji Airways Flying Fijians assistant coach(backline) for the Pacific Nations Cup and the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Born in Nausori, the 46-year played an instrumental role for the Flying Fijians during the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England being the attack coach.

Following the announcement by head coach John McKee earlier last week John Tabaiwalu Fakavale Matson is excited to be back.

“It’s always great to be back for duty for my motherland, every time I come here for me personally, is exciting and a privilege.

“This is one of the greatest rugby nations in the world, the atmosphere the Fijian people give is something else, it’s always a pleasure to be here,” Matson said.

A centre, Matson represented Canterbury at a provincial level and the Crusaders in Super Rugby. He was a member of the New Zealand national side, the All Blacks, in 1995 and 1996, playing 10 matches but no internationals. He played two matches for Fiji at the 1999 Rugby World Cup

“I’m so excited, privileged and really proud that I get the honours to coach Fiji.

“The task is clearly just a few weeks away and I’m honoured and humbled to be part of the team to world cup,” he added.

Matson was the assistant coach for the past three years for the Crusaders in the Super Rugby competition. He has held both attack and defence roles for them during his time and is a specialist backs coach.

Tabai is married with three children Michal, Holly and Zac.

The Maori All Blacks will play Fiji for the first time in seven years as part of a two match series on July 13 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva and at Rotorua on July 18.

The Maori All Blacks last played Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup in 2008, winning 11-7 in Lautoka. The two sides first met in 1938 in Suva and have played each other 28 times since. The Maori All Blacks have won 19 matches, lost seven and drawn twice.

Fiji’s first PNC match will be against Japan at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Tokyo, Canada and Samoa at the ANZ Stadium, Suva

This is prior to the selection of the squad to the September’s Rugby World Cup.

Squad:

Loosehead prop- Campese Ma’afu, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Joeli Veitayaki, Leeroy Atalifo;

Hooker- Mesulame Dolokoto, Sunia Koto, Sam Matavesi, Veremalua Vugakoto;

Tighthead Prop- Manasa Saulo, Luke Tagi, Kalivati Tawake;

Second Row-Tevita Cavubati, Sikeli Nabou, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Albert Tuisue, Tevita Ratuva,

Back Row/Utility- Johnny Dyer, Semi Kunatani, Temo Mayanavanua, Vili Mata, Nemani Nagusa, Jale Railala, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato;

Halfback- Frank Lomani, Nikola Matawalu, Peni Matawalu, Henry Seniloli, Seru Vularika;

Inside Backs- Lepani Botia, Seva Galala, Josh Matavesi, Alivereti Veitokani, Jale Vatubua, Ben Volavola;

OUTSIDE BACKS- Vereniki Goneva, Benito Masilevu, Kini Murimurivalu, Filipo Nakosi, Apisai Naqalevu, Waisea Nayacalevu, Patrick Osborne, Semi Radradra, Eroni Sau, Metui Talebula, Josua Tuisova, Setareki Tuivucu.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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