Rugby | SPORTS

Fiji’s Top Bets For Japan Match

Flying Fijians head coach John McKee indicating that a win over Japan was crucial if they were to improve on their world rankings.
24 Jul 2019 12:33
Fiji’s Top Bets For Japan Match
Lepani Botia of Fiji Airways Flying Fijian against Maori All Blacks defense during test match at ANZ Stadium. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians duo Leone Nakarawa and Levani Botia are top contenders in making the starting line-up for Saturday’s Pacific Nations Cup opener against Japan at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium in the Iwate Prefecture.

This was confirmed yesterday by Flying Fijians head coach John McKee indicating that a win over Japan was crucial if they were to improve on their world rankings.

“We’ll look at how the players will train accordingly and obviously with Leone Nakarawa and Levani Botia coming back into the match this week they will be strong contenders for their positions,” McKee said.

“Playing against one of the top tier 2 nations like Japan will be tough because of the quality of players they have in their squad.

“In this match the big focus for us is on the world rankings. This is important because if we win well over Japan, it will improve our rankings on the world standings.”

The Flying Fijians are ranked 9th while Japan are ranked 11th. McKee said one of the challenges was that players came from different clubs and had different styles of playing throughout their seasons, and they needed to get these players in their a c c u rate status.

He was also impressed with the efforts of the younger players in their last match against the Maori All Blacks.

Other likely starters on Saturday are Manasa Saulo, Viliame Mata, Albert Tuisue, Frank Lomani, Ben Volavola, Patrick Osborne and Kini Murimurivalu.

Feedback: grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

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