Cotter: Chance For Our Rookies

Debutants to adapt to winning culture, compete for a spot in 2023 World Cup squad.
05 Nov 2021 11:58
Cotter: Chance For Our Rookies
Vodafone Flying Fijians squad members Ben Volavola and Jiuta Wainiqolo in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Ian Muir

The Vodafone Flying Fijians are using this weekend’s Test match against Spain to elevate their Test debutants onto a winning platform.

This, in return, will boost their confidence level and enable them to maintain that winning culture within the team.

Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter told SUNsports that playing Spain and Georgia would provide these new caps that opportunity.

Cotter said these players include, Aminiasi Tuimaba, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Vilimoni Botitu and Saracens prop Eroni Mawi.

Tuimaba, Wainiqolo and Botitu were members of the Fijian men’s 7s team that won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“This will also enable them to put pressure (for spots) on senior players in the squad,” Cotter said.

The wily coach said the key to such performance, is to keep things simple and reduce unforced errors.

“They must not lose possession easily and they should be disciplined,” he added.

The Flying Fijians are now camping in Madrid, Spain.

Interim head coach Gareth Baber said they were not in a panic situation because they have good assistant coaches like Rory Best and Duncan Hodge around.

“We’ve got a good leadership group as well to establish what requirements are for this week,” Baber told FRU Media.

“We’ve obviously looked over their (Spain) games in the weekend. We know they’ve played a couple of games earlier on this season and they play a different type of rugby.”

Since they have come together, Baber said the focus had been on doing what was needed.

“We need to have a good mindset, especially the players, and that gives us something to focus on heading into the game.”

He said many players in the Spain squad play in France and that brought concerns, depending on the positions they play.

“Majority of the coaching this week is focused on ourselves. We got two days together and we have to get some stuff right on put that on our opposition,” he said.

“We came together on Monday morning and the players have bonded into it completely and what I’m interested in is to see the driven culture we have in the team and that focus is to deliver on the international stage.




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