Rugby | SPORTS

Flying Fijians Warm Up Clash In Doubt

The Flying Fijians warm-up match against Tasman Rugby scheduled for Saturday is unlikely to take place. This was after six of the Flying Fijians players have yet to join camp.
01 Jul 2021 12:49
Flying Fijians Warm Up Clash In Doubt
Flying Fijians reps (from left) Sam Matavesi, Peniame Narisia, Mesulame Dolokoto, Leeroy Atalifo in Christchurch, New Zealand on June 30, 2021. Photo : FRU Media

The Flying Fijians warm-up match against Tasman Rugby scheduled for Saturday is unlikely to take place.

This was after six of the Flying Fijians players have yet to join camp.

Head coach, Vern Cotter confirmed that the closure of the New Zealand border pre­vented Australia-based players of Frank Lomani, Teti Tela and Moses Sorovi from flying across on Sunday.

They are expected to join the squad this weekend.

At the same time flight disruptions have caused the late arrival of France-based Perri Ravai and Peceli Yato while Saracens prop Eroni Mawi got his release late.

“They are expected to join the squad next Wednesday,” the coach said.

Cotter also indicated his admiration for the players on their ability to adapt quickly to a new environment.

The warm-up match was intended for Cot­ter to take a look at the new players and at the same time test out his combination.

Captain Levani Botia has been leading the players during their training session in Christchurch.

“I’m also looking forward because this is the first time for me to play against the All Blacks,” said the 20-Test veteran.

Botia played a crucial role for La Rochelle when they played in the Heineken Cup grand final for the first time.

Also assisting him is veteran lock, Leone Nakarawa, who recently was signed up by French club Toulon.

Meanwhile, Sorovi has signed up with the Melbourne Rebels.

Also, new inclusion and Crusaders winger Manasa Mataele is off contract with the club, with reports suggesting he’s agreed a deal with the Western Force.

But the Christchurch-based winger said he had not signed anything and is still weigh­ing up his future, with the Crusaders, Moa­na Pasifika and the Fijian Drua.

“There’s a lot of offers out there and big de­cisions to make in the next couple of weeks for me especially, whether I need to stay or leave,” he told Radio New Zealand.

“At the moment I haven’t made any (deci­sions) yet. I was just taking each decision as it comes.”

“First up, international (rugby), that’s a big decision for me, and I guess the next one is whether I stay or leave really.”

 

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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