Analysis

Give Our Coaches A Crack

We should rid the inferiority complex mode of thinking that their time will come and it’s time to learn from the best offshore and play understudy. Since rugby turned professional in 1995,we managed to secure top coaches to mentor our Flying Fijians and we thank World Rugby for providing the financially assistance.
13 Sep 2020 13:53
Give Our Coaches A Crack
Ovalau players celebrate after Josaia Yalovigau scores the first try at Nasau Park, Levuka on September 12, 2020. Photo: Manhar Lal

A local to understudy a must, 25 years after rugby turned professional, we still look offshore for help

Let’s give our local rugby coaches a fair go and give them an opportunity to prove their worth.

Unless we do so, we will never know their capability and they will always play second fiddle.

It’s time we give them the opportunity to run the show and stop looking offshore time and again to deliver the result for us.

We should rid the inferiority complex mode of thinking that their time will come and it’s time to learn from the best offshore and play understudy.

Since rugby turned professional in 1995,we managed to secure top  coaches to mentor our Flying Fijians and we thank World Rugby for providing the financially assistance.

But strangely, 25 years later, that is still the case with former Scotland coach Vern Cotter in charge until the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

With all due to respect to him, with no local input Cotter has appointed his coaching staff to assist him.

One may ask when will a local coach be in charge or when will a so called understudy promoted to be full Flying Fijians head coach?

The answer simply is we have to wait until Cotter’s contract expires in 2023.

There has been so much talk of a local to understudy a Flying Fijian coach since Brad Johnstone (1996-99), Greg Smith (2000-2001), Marc McCallion (2002-2003), Wayne Pivac (2004-2007), Mike Brewer (2009-2010), Samu Domoni (2010-2011) and John McKee (2014-2019). But it’s been lot-of-hot-air, no substance.

The only locals who came in as replacements were Ilivasi Tabua (2007-2008) replacing Pivac who quit after eight months citing family reasons and Inoke Male (2012-2014) who took over from Domoni, after a pathetic performance at the 2011RWC including 0-66 drubbing by Wales.

We’ve so much wealth of experience in our locals and they should be given a chance.

A case in point is the five who were shortlisted for the Fijiana 15s head coach position.

While the Fiji Rugby Union board have yet to make a decision, it would be out of this world to ignore Fijian Drua/Latui mentor Senirusi Seruvakula, current Fijiana XV coach Ro Alifereti Doviverata, Male and Tuvalu national women coach Elenoa Kunataba.

We don’t have to deny the chance again for our locals to be in charge of Fijiana at the 2021 Women Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

While it is believed that Auckland–based former national rep Waisake Sotutu also applied, it would be unfortunate to deny our locals a chance to prove their worth.

We’ve locals who are qualified and World Rugby-certified, give them a chance.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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