Fiji Sports | Rugby

The Flying Fijians To Camp In New Zealand

The Flying Fijians are going to be based in New Zealand to prepare for their two Test matches against the All Blacks in July. This was confirmed by Fiji Rugby
31 May 2021 15:58
The Flying Fijians To Camp In New Zealand
Former Fijian 7s star winger Aminiasi Tuimaba continues to score tries for Pau in the French Top 14 competition. He could be considered for the Flying Fijians squad. Photo: Pau

The Flying Fijians are going to be based in New Zealand to prepare for their two Test matches against the All Blacks in July.

This was confirmed by Fiji Rugby Union, chief executive officer, John O’Connor.

He said because of the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic the players must undergo the required isolation period in New Zealand on their arrival before they start their preparations.

“The local- based players have been training on their own because of the pandemic lockdown and we are now working on their flight to New Zealand,” O’Connor said.

According to head coach, Vern Cotter they went through such a similar process during last November’s Autumn Nations Cup, so they have some experience on how to deal with it.

O’Connor also highlighted that they are now working on getting the players release from their respective clubs.

The CEO said one of the challenges they face is that most of the players play for clubs involved in the Premiership and Top 14 playoffs.

The finals of both competitions are set for June 26 while the semi-finals and qualifying finals will be played in the weeks beforehand.

O’Connor said if these players’ clubs play in the semi-final then they are not going to meet the isolation time frame requirement.

“We’ve been talking to a few players in Australia and New Zealand who have expressed their keenness to play for the Flying Fijians.

“We’re expecting to announce the squad in another two weeks,” he added.

Cotter told SUNsports they are waiting to see who will be available in Europe.

“We are paying close attention as the semi-finalists won’t make the time frame necessary to create a bubble from quarantine in New Zealand.

“However, our strength and conditioning coaches are monitoring a group of around 40 players through their clubs to ensure we have a fit group to select from.”

The first Test match is on July 10 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin with the second Test set for July 17 at FMG Waikato Stadium in Hamilton


Ratuniyarawa, A Saints Centurion
Meanwhile, veteran Fijian lock Api Ratuiniyarawa, made his 100 appearance for Northampton Saints as they beat Wasps 30-25 on Saturday to secure a Premiership qualification.

Flying Fijians hooker Sam Matavesi scored Saints first try while Ratuniyarawa partnered Courtney Lawes at locks.

Also playing well for Saints was burly winger, Taqele Naiyaravoro.

Nemani Nadolo and Kini Murimurivalu helped Leicester Tigers pipped Worcester 18-17.

Results: Harlequins 44-33 Bath, Sale 22-12 Bristol Bears, Gloucester 30-28 London Irish.


Kamikamica Impressive
Rising Brive No.8 Kitione Kamikamica could get his Test debut against the All Blacks.

Kamikamica scored his club’s only try as they went down 33-28 to Castres in the French Top 14 clash on Saturday.

Kamikamica missed out on making his Test debut for the Flying Fijians in last November’s Autumn Nations Cup because of injury.

Vilimoni Botitu excelled at second five-eighth for Castres but got a yellow card in the 41st minute for a dangerous tackle.

Aminiasi Tuimaba again scored another try for Pau as they lost 51-27 to La Rochelle.

Results: Toulouse 36-27 Clermont, Montpellier 23-19 Bayonne, Agen 14-54 Racing, Toulon 25-19 Bordeaux Begles.



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