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Analysis: Cotter Plans For 2023 World Cup

Kudos to our Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter for a selection that will shape the future of Fijian Rugby towards the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Cotter named a mixture
19 Jun 2021 16:47
Analysis: Cotter Plans For 2023 World Cup
Reaching Christchurch... Flying Fijians Mesulame Kunavula (closest to camera) with Waisea Nayacalevu as their plane arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand on June 18, 2021.

Kudos to our Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter for a selection that will shape the future of Fijian Rugby towards the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Cotter named a mixture of experience and young players for the two Test matches against the All Blacks on July 10 and 17 in Dunedin and Hamilton, New Zealand.

This is how our Flying Fijian teams system, culture and environment will look like moving forward and there will be no doubt more local and overseas-based players will be keen to play for their country.

We all have a common goal to reach the World Cup quarterfinal or even better reach the semis or the final.

Cotter easily identified this goal and mapped out the plan.

Make no mistake about our chances against the AB’s we have a very formidable side that will give the second best team in the world a good run for their money.

He has maintained the core of the squad from the Autumn Test with Sam Matavesi, Peni Ravai, Mesake Doge and Leeroy Atalifo in the front row.

The experience Leone Nakarawa, Albert Tuisue, Peceli Yato and Johnny Dyer will lead the forwards while Frank Lomani, Ben Volavola, Nemani Nadolo and Kini Murimurivalu are to guide the backline.

New kids on the block include, Moses Sorovi, Teti Tela, Onisi Natave, Vinaya Habosi, Simione Kuruvoli, Manasa Mataele, Mesu Kunavula, Kitione Kamikamica and Eneriko Buliruarua will be out to stamp their mark for the prestigious white jersey.

This is an extremely mobile pack with players who are all excellent runners and good ball handlers.

Cotter knows how the All Blacks operate and will opt for a lot of movement in the general motion and not for a confrontational physical rugby.

Our front row although mobile may be given some positional zones so they don’t get carried away by running all over the place and be tired at scrum time.

Heading into this game we don’t have the luxury of game breakers like Semi Radradra and Josua Tuisova.

Unfortunately, there is no Filipo Nakosi or Wame Naituvi who could have stepped in for these game breakers.

Their absence have opened the door of opportunity for youngsters like Natave and Buliruarua to show what they are made-up of in the midfield and assist our midfield veterans of Levani Botea and Waisea Nayacalevu.

The future of the Flying Fijians looks bright and our chances of finishing strong at the World Cup is stronger than ever with the inclusion of the Fijian Drua side to the 2022 Super Rugby season.

Now with the Drua playing in Super Rugby more players will be interested to join the team with an understanding that playing in the team allows them to gain exposure against top players in New Zealand and Australia.

That creates an opportunity for Cotter to have a wider pool of players to select from or even have core of the team selected from the Drua side.

Should that happen, well time will tell but for now let’s cheer on our Flying Fijians as they prepare to take on the All Blacks after 11 years.

Flying Fijians have landed

Meanhile, Europe members of the Flying Fijians have landed in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday. They are now undergoing quarrantine.

Edited by Leone Cabetabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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