Tuisese, Tikoisuva Applaud Fiji’s inclusion In Joining Six Nations

The Fiji Rugby Union hall of famers said it was big news and the onus on the players to make it work.
29 Jul 2020 14:45
Tuisese, Tikoisuva Applaud Fiji’s inclusion In Joining Six Nations
Rugby legends Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese (left) and Pio Bosco Tikoisuva at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay on April 27, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese Snr and Pio Bosco Tikoisuva applauded Fiji’s joining the Six Nations rugby sides in an eight-team tournament in Europe at the end of the year.

The Fiji Rugby Union hall of famers said it was big news and the onus on the players to make it work.

The BBC reported the tournament will begin on November 14, two weeks after the completion of the Six Nations Championship, which was postponed because of COVID-19.

Fiji is likely to be in a four-team pool alongside England, Wales and Ireland, while Scotland, France, Italy and Japan would make up the other group.

The tournament will be staged on four consecutive weekends until December 5, in line with the temporary international window proposed by World Rugby last week.

After playing each other once, the teams would face their corresponding-ranked side in the other pool on the final weekend.

Tuisese said: “To me this is great news, this is certainly good news for our players.

“This is a great opportunity for them, to be able to expose themselves.

“It comes with a lot of challenges. The administrators have done their work to be able for us to play against the Six Nations countries.

“Playing Six Nations countries is not easy and for us to get to play them, we need to prove ourselves.

“We need to prove that we mean business and this is perfect opportunity for our boys in France and England.

Tikoisuva and Tuisese were members of the national team that defeated the British &Irish Lions in Suva in 1977.

Tikoisuva said: “This is good news, and good for development.

“We have been trying with the countries in the southern hemisphere for years, but to be accepted by Six Nations countries is a great achievement for Fiji Rugby.

“It will be a great exposure especially for our local players to show their talent.

“This is also a good build up for the World Cup.”

Fiji Rugby Union CEO John O’Connor claimed last week that Fiji was “on the verge of joining the Six Nations competition” but a Six Nations representative told the BBC the Pacific Island side was not joining the Northern Hemisphere championship permanently and would only be involved in this proposed eight team tournament in 2020.

Fiji were originally scheduled to face the All Blacks XV in Vancouver at the end of October before taking on Wales and the French Barbarians in November, however the end of year tests were subsequently cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Our players in Europe

A look at the Fiji team that lost 29-17 to Wales in the final pool game at the 2019 World Cup illustrates the massive influence they have on the European club game.

The team:

1. Campese Ma’afu (ex-Leicester) 2. Sam Matavesi (Northampton), 3. Manasa Saulo (ex-London Irish),

4. Tevita Cavubati (Harlequins), 5. Leone Nakarawa (Glasgow), 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu (ex-Pau),

7. Semi Kunatani (Castres), 8. Viliame Mata (Edinburgh), 9. Frank Lomani (Melbourne Rebels),

10. Ben Volavola (Perpignan), 11. Semi Radradra (Bristol),

12. Levani Botia (La Rochelle), 13. Waisea Nayacalevu (Stade Francais), 14. Josua Tuisova (Lyon),

15. Kini Murimurivalu (Leicester).

Replacements:16.Mesulame Dolokoto (Glasgow), 17. Eroni Mawi (Saracens), 18. Peni Ravai (Clermont), 19. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa (Northampton), 20. Peceli Yato (Clermont), 21. Nikola Matawalu (Glasgow), 22. Jale Vatubua (Pau), 23. Josh Matavesi (Bath).


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