Sireli Bobo: Start 2023 Rugby World Cup Preparation With Locals

“If we put on paper and compare this team with the 2007 one - the big difference is on the fitness and the motto that we had back than was ‘no guts, no glory’.”
28 Sep 2019 14:27
Sireli Bobo: Start 2023 Rugby World Cup Preparation With Locals
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians centre Semi Radradra.

Former Flying Fijians winger Sireli Bobo believes local coaches should spearhead our preparations to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Bobo who played at the 2007 RWC where he scored a try against South Africa during the quarterfinals is concerned after the loss to then 19-ranked Uruguay in Kamaishi on Wednesday.

He iterated the need for local coaches who are qualified should be considered for the next World Cup.

“John McKee has taken a Fijian team to two World Cup tournaments,” he said.

“The first in 2015 where we only had one win and now the current World Cup, with no win so far. Then why can’t we give the same opportunity to our qualified coaches that we have here in the country.

“They (local coaches) have already proved themselves. These are coaches like Ilivasi Tabua who coached us at the 2007 World Cup, Inoke (Male) who proved himself when he coached the Flying Fijians to their first Pacific Nations Cup win in 2013 and now Senirusi Seruvakula with the Drua team. Why can’t we use them?”

Bobo said he believes these local coaches if given the opportunity are able to create history.

“We have got some coaches and trainers who are currently with the High Performance Unit. They are former national reps like Bill Gadolo, Kele Leawere and Koli Sewabu, so than why aren’t we using them.”

“If this is how our World Cup campaign has shaped to be, and we trust those overseas coaches to come and lift the standard of rugby in the country then why can’t we trust our very own homegrown coaches.

“We have our own coaches why don’t we use them. We have given the leadership role so easily to foreign coaches then why can’t we trust our locals.”
Lack of fitness

Bobo said his concern from the Uruguay loss is on the players’ fitness level despite the time given for their preparations.

“I question their fitness. If he (McKee) says this is the best prepared team ever then I suggest maybe it’s by the book. We’ve one of the best fitness trainers in the country Nacanieli Cawanibuka, why didn’t we take him in for the world cup preparations?

“He (McKee) knows nothing about the fitness level we had in 2003 and 2007 then why did he say those words that they are the best prepared team?

“Almost all those boys playing in the World Cup are overseas based-players and there shouldn’t be any excuse. That is in terms of what the players achieved individually compared to the 2007 World Cup team.

“If we put on paper and compare this team with the 2007 one – the big difference is on the fitness and the motto that we had back than was ‘no guts, no glory’.”

Positional changes
Bobo also questioned Mckee on the position changes made.

“We’ve seen him put Semi Radradra on the wing another thing we’ve seen him put Leone Nakarawa at number eight.

“This is not the place to test players and positions. This is the World Cup this is where you show and prepare your best team.

“So to me he (McKee) hasn’t picked his best team yet. He had eight years to prepare the team and he hasn’t picked his best combination.”

No urgency
Bobo said the Flying Fijians lacked urgency to win a game during the World Cup.

“The desire to play was not there. The burning desire to win comes from within us, we need to motivate ourselves.

“The urgency to win was not there they were not motivated to win that game.

“Overconfidence can you let down as well. Mindset plays a big part as well, the players need to change how they approach the game on game day.

“In the World Cup we have to play every game as if it’s the final every game is crucial. The desire to win was not there.

“They were too casual during the game and they underestimated Uruguay.”

Take your chances
Bobo said as player if the coach has given you a chance than grab it with your two hands and do the job.

“If you’re chosen as one of the 31 players then question yourself on the duties that you was called to do. If you really deserve to be there than do your part as a player because the coach has done his bit.

“It’s both the coach and the players did not do their jobs on game day. The players need to play their part as well.

“It takes someone who knows and plays rugby to lead a team if we forget God then sorry to say our strength has limits if we have God then will see his amazing works.

“That reflected in yesterday’s game we were nothing. We have to work hard again, we’ve been given another four years to do that. We need to start right from the bottom and build it up again.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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