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Let Us Do It Right: Fiji Captain To Flying Fijians

Head coach John McKee was forced to make changes to his run-on side after wingers Eroni Sau and Patrick Osborne were ruled out with injuries.
13 Jul 2019 13:07
Let Us Do It Right: Fiji Captain To Flying Fijians
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians players and officials with Fiji Rugby Union president and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (sitting sixth from left), chairman Francis Kean (seventh from left) and chief executive officer John O’Connor (eighth from left) at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel on July 12, 2019. Photo: DEPTFO News

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu wants his team to get their combinations right against the Maori All Blacks at the ANZ Stadium, Suva today.

Waqaniburotu was named at No. 6 in a powerful forward pack that includes 2018 European Player of the Year Leone Nakarawa and Ireland’s Guinness Pro 14 Players’ Player of the 2018/19 season Viliame Mata.

Speaking at the team’s captain’s run at Suva’s ANZ Stadium yesterday, the 33-year-old said the players would focus on achieving individuals goals for their first Rugby World Cup build-up match.

“At the moment we are not worried about the Maori All Blacks. All we’ve been talking about during the week has been about our individual roles,” he said.

“If we can get what we have been working on this past week right, the results will come so at the moment we’re focus on getting our set pieces right and executing the game plan.”

Head coach John McKee was forced to make changes to his run-on side after wingers Eroni Sau and Patrick Osborne were ruled out with injuries.

Winger Filipo Nakosi and fullback Kini Murimurivalu were called in as replacements, in what was seen as a minor setback to the side’s approach against the visitors.

However, Waqaniburotu, who plays for Brive in France’s Top 14 competition, believes the squad has enough depth to manage the injury situation.

“We had a few rough moments in training yesterday (Thursday) but this team has got a lot of depth and we’ve got other players stepping up,” he said.

“I don’t see the injuries as a setback; it’s not a problem for us but just another challenge to overcome and come game day the boys will be ready.”

One thing that stands out in McKee’s run-on side is the height in the forward pack, which the captain believes could give the side an advantage during the lineouts.

The six players involved in the line-out training yesterday included Albert Tuisue (1.92m), Api Ratuniyarawa (1.98m), Mata (1.96m), Nakarawa (1.98m) Waqaniburotu (1.96m) and Semi Kunatani (1.92m).

“We’ve had a lot of tall jumpers over the years from numbers 4 to 8. We’re working hard on our set pieces and the tall players definitely give us an advantage,” Waqaniburotu said.

“I know the forwards are going to step up because there is a lot of talent in the forward pack alone. It’s easy for me to work with them because they are playing at a very high level.”

-Edited by Osea Bola

Feedbacksheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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