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Locals Time To Shine Against Barbarians In Twickenham

The last time the two teams met at Twickenham was in November 2013, where more than 68,000 fans were treated to a spectacle of running rugby.
08 Nov 2019 10:17
Locals Time To Shine Against Barbarians In Twickenham
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee (holding ball), with Senirusi Seruvakula (left), Brad Harris and the squad during training at the Fiji Airports ground in Namaka, Nadi, on November 7, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Head coach John McKee took the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians squad to their first training session in Nadi yesterday in bid to rebuild for the future.

After the below par performance at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the side aims to make a fresh start with a game against the Barbarians at Twickenham, London, next Saturday.

Assisted by the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula, his forwards mentor Brad Harris, McKee led the squad, comprised of local players, through the grind at the Fiji Airports ground.

“This is perfect opportunity for the local players to shine on the big stage,” McKee said.

“And there is better place to do it than at Twickenham, one of the iconic rugby stadiums in the world.

“Barbarians rugby will suit our style and we need to get our basics right especially in the set piece

“We know we will up against a quality opposition but we are implementing a core plan as we do for the Drua and Flying Fijians.”

McKee has included only four players from the RWC in the squad.

They are Frank Lomani, Veremalua Vugakoto, Mosese Voka and Eroni Mawi who are likely to face a team comprised RWC stars coached by England mentor Eddie Jones.

The encounter should be a good learning experience for the local players.

The last time the two teams met at Twickenham was in November 2013, where more than 68,000 fans were treated to a spectacle of running rugby, with the BaaBaas stealing the show in an electric 43-19 win.

McKee has selected 13 players from the Fijian Drua team which lost in the Australian National Rugby Competition semifinal to the Canberra Vikings last month.

4 RWC winners join BaaBaas

Meanwhile, four Springboks have been added to the Barbarians squad. They are Rugby World Cup winners Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi and Herschel Jantjies.

The Springbok quartet will also be joined by former Bok No.10 Morne Steyn as the Barbarians continue to name star attractions ahead of the Fiji match.

Irish legend Rory Best was also recently named to play, as well as French centre Mathieu Bastareaud.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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