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Learn From Kiwis

We’re using the tour for these young players exposure and to gain experience ahead of the new rugby season-Tiko Matawalu, President, Nadroga Rugby Union
11 Feb 2020 15:20
Learn From Kiwis
Some of the young Sigatoka River Safari Nadroga rugby team members who will play Southland Invitation XV on Thursday in Waimumu, Southland, New Zealand

The Sigatoka River Safari Nadroga rugby team are taking three senior players on their one-match tour to New Zealand.

They are prop Setefano Samoca, halfback Emosi Vucago and centre Josese Kurokavu.

The Stallions fly out to Christchurch today as they face the Southland Invitation XV on Thursday at the Fred Booth Park in Waimumu in rural Southland.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday Nadroga Rugby Union president Tiko Matawalu said the senior players were named to help mentor the younger players.

“We’re using the tour for these young players’ exposure and to gain experience ahead of the new rugby season,” he said.

“We have talented players and this tour is for their exposure and probably get quality game time against top opposition. That is all we are intending to get out of this tour.”

For many players, Matawalu said it would be their first experience travelling overseas let alone playing there.

“We are fortunate to have a few senior players who will keep them focused and continue to provide guidance and assistance to the young players.”

The former Flying Fijians prop said this had always been part of their preparations for the Skipper Cup Premiership.

“We started our season last year having this tour was part of our pre-season matches and to have it in New Zealand is a blessing,” Matawalu said.

“We’re looking forward to the trip to New Zealand. The boys are excited about the trip and we’re all looking forward to the challenge.”

Matawalu believes New Zealand is the best rugby nation in the world and that’s why they are going there to help develop their game.

“We are leaving early as we go through Christchurch, where we’ll stop over before we connect our flight to Invercargill.

“Upon our return, we’ll have a few more games before the season begins. We know how important it is to prepare well given the challenges that we have ahead of us.”

He highlighted the new format of having the first round as a double header match where the Skipper Cup points and the Farebrother Sullivan Trophy would be at stake was going to demand a lot from the players.

“This is what we’re preparing for and we’ll be able to review after the tour how our preparations have gone before we engage ourselves to our local pre-season before round one of the Skipper Cup begins.”

Screenshot 2020-02-11 at 3.05.34 PM

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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