SOS Call Answered

Frank Lomani has answered the SOS call and is in the country.
21 Sep 2020 13:12
SOS Call Answered
Melbourne Rebels’ Frank Lomani is in the country undergoing all the quarantine requirements at a Government facility. He is the Flying Fijians first choice halfback for the Autum Nations Cup in November. Photo: Rebels

Frank Lomani has answered the SOS call and is in the country.

The Melbourne Rebels halfback is at Nalagi Hotel in Nadi, which is a Government quarantine facility.

Last week, Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor indicated that it was important for Lomani to undergo all the quarantine process.

This could allow him to travel to Europe with the local-based players for the Autumn Nations Cup, which will be from November 13 to December 6.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it would have been impossible for Lomani to travel to Europe from Australia.

On route to Fiji, Lomani had to travel to New Zealand to catch his connecting flight home.


Team announcement

Lomani is probably the Australian-based player who is going to be named in the Flying Fijians squad.

Head coach Vern Cotter is to name his tour squad sometimes this week.

Cotter in an interview said that he had been constantly communicating with his coaching staff for the past two months.

“We’ve been also looking at the players,” he said.

Cotter is in New Zealand with attack coach Darryl Gibson, forwards coach Jason Ryan and Glen Jackson while Richard Gray is Scotland.

They are going to fly to France from Auckland accompanied by the local-based players.

“Glen Jackson is good at handling skills, can sensitise and also give players a clear understanding of what referees see and how they act,” Cotter said.

“This will help us a lot because if we can cut down the discipline and the penalties against us, it will make us less vulnerable.

“He (Gibson) has the maturity to help with the back line and we have Jason Ryan who has won three titles with Crusaders and brings all the standards in High Performance probably from the best franchise.

“Gray is someone who I have worked with in Scotland and in Montpellier and specialises in rug-contact.”

Cotter also highlighted that they were looking at several New Zealand based- players for the tour

He indicated that Ryan, who is the Crusaders forwards coach, has been talking with Lautoka-born prop George Bower and winger Manasa Mataele.

On whether they make the Flying Fijians squad will be known this week.


Local-based players

The Fiji Rugby High Performance Unit has been closely monitoring the progress of players who are likely to be named in the Flying Fijians squad.

The players have been playing in the Skipper Cup Premiership.

It is understood, that are number of local-based players could be joining the October 25 camp in France.

This will depend if talks of an international match involving the Flying Fijians apart from the Autumn Nations Cup goes through.

This was after a hearty performance by a Flying Fijians side, which was dominated by local-based- players that beat the Barbarians 38-34 in Twickenham, London, last November.



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