Rugby

Former All Blacks World Cup Coach Sir Graham Henry Rates The Flying Fijians, Japan Well For Rugby World Cup

“The Fijian team did well against Canada obviously, but they will need to play bigger size teams. They will need to play and get more experience.”
05 Aug 2019 11:31
Former All Blacks World Cup Coach Sir Graham Henry Rates The Flying Fijians, Japan Well For Rugby World Cup
Former All Blacks World Cup winning coach Sir Graham Henry.

The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians and Japan, as Pacific Nations Cup teams, will make an impression at the Rugby World Cup in September.

That’s how former All Blacks Rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Graham Henry rates the Flying Fijians and Japan.

Sir Graham, who coached the All Blacks to win the 2011 RWC in New Zealand, is here with the Canadian rugby team as their technical adviser.

Looking at the Flying Fijians, he said they needed to play bigger teams to prepare for the RWC in Japan.

“This is an area which is left for the Fijian team,” he told the Fiji Sun.

“The Fijian team did well against Canada obviously, but they will need to play bigger size teams. They will need to play and get more experience.”

Sir Graham believes the Flying Fijians are in a good building phase for the RWC in Japan.

“They are a good rugby team and they will make a very good impression at the World Cup. They played Japan and they did not get the result they wanted, but they are getting better.”

Sir Graham was heavily criticised after the All Blacks’ quarterfinal exit at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. His re-appointment was deemed controversial. He was vindicated, however, when the All Blacks won the 2011 RWC and became one of the most successful coaches to have ever coached the All Blacks.

In November 2011, Sir Henry announced that he would be stepping down as the All Blacks coach after 140 matches in a career that included a series victory over the touring British and Irish Lions in 2005, five Tri Nations, three Grand Slams and one Rugby World Cup title.

Meanwhile, Japan and USA maintained their unbeaten start to the World Rugby PNC 2019 to set up a winner-takes-all meeting in Suva, this Saturday. Japan walloped Tonga 41-7 in Osaka, Japan, on Saturday night.

The Flying Fijians, who are set to finish the tournament empty handed for the first time since 2014, recorded their maiden victory with a 38-13 bonus point win over Canada at Suva’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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