Rugby | SPORTS

John Mckee: Team To Up Their Game Against Japan

“We are taking a very strong squad to Japan and the players who remained in Fiji last week underwent specific physical conditioning."
22 Jul 2019 11:44
John Mckee: Team To Up Their Game Against Japan
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians hooker Veremalua Vugakoto gets caught against a tight Maori All Blacks defence on July 20, 2019, at the Rotorua International Stadium, New Zealand. In support play are Captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Lee-Roy Atalifo. Fiji lost 17-26. Photo: Bruce Southwick/ZoomFiji

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach, John McKee, has named a powerful 27-member travelling squad for the opening match of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup against Japan on July 27 in Kamaishi.

Included are the nine players who missed the final Fiji Airways Pacific Series Test match against the Maori All Blacks on Saturday in Rotorua, New Zealand.

They are Eroni Mawi, Manasa Saulo, Mesulame Dolokoto, Leone Nakarawa, Semi Kunatani, Viliame Mata, Peceli Yato, Ben Volavola and Levani Botia. The nine players left for Japan yesterday.

“We are taking a very strong squad to Japan and the players who remained in Fiji last week underwent specific physical conditioning. So I expect them to be fitter and fresh this week,” McKee said.

“The players have left behind the 26-17 loss to the Maori All Blacks and have turned their focus on defending the PNC title.

“We expect Japan to play a very up tempo game. Once again we will have to work very hard in our defensive system and look to dominate the physical collisions.”

McKee highlighted that the last two matches against the Maori All Blacks were quite positive for the team.

“There have been some good learnings against the Maori All Blacks and players have benefited from the physical matches over the past two weeks,” he said.

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians take on Japan at 5.50pm (Fiji time) at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Next focus, Japan

Playing Japan on their home turf will be an uphill battle, says Fiji Airways Flying Fijians hooker Mesulame Dolokoto.

“We have a lot to learn along the way and we will try to get it right against Japan,” he said.

“I expect them to play a fast-paced game so we will need to match them.”

Dolokoto played for the Fiji Warriors against Japan in 2018 and this year.

Edited by Osea Bola

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper