Hoping For Best

Fiji are being monitored daily by the medical team, supported by the medical arm of the French Rugby Federation and the Six Nations.
05 Nov 2020 10:53
Hoping For Best
Flying Fijian Ben Volavola in France. Photo: French Media

The Flying Fijians do the normal rugby routine at their camp in Limoges, France.

And they hope all will turn out well as they prepare for their opening Autumn Nations Cup game against France on November 15.

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor said despite the frequent setbacks so far, it’s vital to stay positive and focused on the task.

“We are facing difficult times and likewise our Flying Fijians in France,” O’Connor said.

“But it’s important we stay positive and the Flying Fijians are doing their normal routine daily.

“They are training as normal and we are awaiting results of the three players who were tested positive for coronavirus.

“Otherwise all is well in camp and we hope normalcy will be back as soon as possible.”

Fiji are being monitored daily by the medical team, supported by the medical arm of the French Rugby Federation and the Six Nations.

The Fiji team will be tested twice a week. The team’s preparation suffered setbacks all along, with Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter finding it hard to make plans.

The cancellations of the Barbarians vs England game last month, the Flying Fijians warm-up match on Saturday against Portugal in France and three players tested positive in Limoges, made it difficult for Cotter.

Whether they will play warm-up games against clubs in France or not, the Flying Fijians should face a baptism of fire against the Les Bleus at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint Etienne.

With no warm-up games against a team that beat Wales and Ireland and missed out narrowly on winning the Six Nations, fans can only hope for the best and should expect the worst.

Meanwhile, France coach Fabien Galthie kept faith with the majority of the squad that beat Ireland in the final game of the delayed Six Nations for the Nations opener against Fiji.

And Naluwai, Naitasiri, native Virimi Vakatawa is expected to line up against his fellowmen next week. Vakatawa is one of the 28 players named by head coach Fabien Galthie.

The 28-year-old Vakatawa has been dubbed as the best centre in international rugby this season after his stellar performances in the Six Nations.

Last week against Ireland, Vakatawa scored a try in the 35-27 win.

Also making the French squad are first five-eighth Romain Ntamack and halfback Antonie Dupont, who have been shortlisted as leading players for the Six Nations this year. France will play the Flying Fijians next Sunday at 3am and will be televised live on Fiji One TV.




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