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Editorial: Fijian Rugby Still On The Right Track

Most of these players came through our HPU system and were given the break to play in the NRC, Global Rapid Rugby while others secured contracts with overseas clubs.
18 Nov 2019 19:57
Editorial: Fijian Rugby Still On The Right Track
Man of the match Johnny Dyer leads an attack for the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians at Twickenham in London, Dyer score two tries that saw the Flying Fijians claim a 33-31 victory against the Barbarians after 49 years. Photo: Ian Muir

Editorial:

The future of Fiji Rugby is bright! The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians 33-31 win over the Barbarians to claim the Killik Cup at Twickenham yesterday means that they’re on the right track.

It’s after 49 years the Fijians have achieved this feat. They last beat the Barbarians 29-9 at Gosforth in 1970.

With the majority of the senior Flying Fijians players from the recent Rugby World Cup not available for the clash due to club commitments, it was an opportune time for the local-based players that played for the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua at the National Rugby Championship to stamp their mark.

They were further strengthened by the inclusion of our upcoming players based in New Zealand who recently played in the Mitre 10 competition. They did not disappoint as they executed their game in style.

Most of these players came through our HPU system and were given the break to play in the NRC, Global Rapid Rugby while others secured contracts with overseas clubs.

The presence of Drua head coach Senirusi Seruvakula to assist Flying Fijians head coach John McKee did the trick.

Seruvakula knows what is needed to inspire the players to go out and do the impossible. The Drua did this in the NRC when they won the competition in 2018 but narrowly lost the semifinals during their first year in 2017 and again this year after he had to rebuild his side.

For robust players like loosie, Johnny Dyer who scored two tries and veteran winger Patrick Osborne showed that they had what it takes to play in the recent RWC.

Now it’s all water under the bridge.

It’s time to focus on the 2021 RWC and the win in Twickenham is a great way to start.

For McKee, his future now lies in the hands of the decision-makers at Rugby House as his contract expires next month.

We appreciate the fact that he has brought us victories against Scotland, France, Maori All Blacks and now the Barbarians.

But the fact that under his watch the Flying Fijians didn’t do well at the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, suggests that we need a new head coach who can bring in innovative ideas, on how to best develop our abundance of talent, to raise Fijian Rugby to the pinnacle of its potential, so that we can be rated among the world’s best.

Feedbackleonec@fijisun.com.fj

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