Rugby | SPORTS

Cotter: Keeping It Simple

Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter wants to keep things simple during the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup that gets underway on July 2 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.
21 Jun 2022 14:00
Cotter: Keeping It Simple
Flying Fijians tightheads props (left-right) Mesake Doge and Manasa Saulo lead the pack during the team’s road run from the Tanoa International Hotel to the Nadi International School ground (through Nadi backroad) for their first training session on June 20, 2022. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter wants to keep things simple during the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup that gets underway on July 2 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.

He was at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi yesterday as the Flying Fijians players were reporting in.

Speaking to SUNsports, Cotter said he was expecting a tactical game from a strong Aus­tralia A side.

“Tonga and Samoa will be more of a physi­cal game,” he said.

“We need to be ready for both types of game. It is up to us to work hard and work together to try to get to a point where we are going to be competitive.”

Cotter said they need to prepare well and take each Test match seriously.

Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter at Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, on June 20, 2022. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter at Tanoa International Hotel, Nadi, on June 20, 2022.
Photo: Nicolette Chambers

“There will be strong games but there are no easy test matches. You only win or lose test matches so each one has to be taken se­riously.”

He indicated that players who are going to arrive later in the week include captain, Levani Botia, Eroni Mawi, Vilimoni Botitu, Albert Tuisue and Temo Mayanavanua.

Botia played for the Barbarians as they walloped England 52-21 in London yesterday while Mawi played for Saracens in the Gal­lagher Premiership final last Sunday. Botitu plays for Castres in the French Top 14 this weekend while Mayanavanua’s wife has just given birth.

Cotter also welcomed the inclusion of 16 players from the Fijian Drua side that played in the Super Rugby Pacific.

“There’s the Drua players and the other overseas-based players so it will be an excit­ing mix of young and old players.

“I think the Drua players have learnt some­thing so they’re now taking those learnings to international level, which is higher.

“It is an important test series for us and it will lift their levels and standards.”

Cotter highlighted that as head coach it would a tough job to select his starting line-up.

“We have got three games. We will mix it up, midfield especially is interesting, the forwards are interesting, locks we have got two young locks coming through from the Drua, so it is quite exciting.

“We will have to make a choice and play­ers will have to put their hands up and show what they’ve got.”

As head coach, Cotter said he is looking forward to his first Test series in Fiji.

Nayacalevu: One game at a time

Meanwhile, France-based Waisea Naya­calevu said he was honoured to be joining the Flying Fijians squad with a set of young players.

“I have been watching the Drua players from France and I cannot wait to work with these boys and get the job done come the PNC,” Nayacalevu said.

“There are a lot of young talents coming up, we will give our best and see what the coaches will decide for the matches.”

Nayacalevu said it’s important to take one match at a time.

“Tonga it is going to be tough and we will have to prepare well for them and that is what we are going to do heading to next weekend.

“I think this is good for Fiji moving for­ward and getting a lot of test matches and game experience.

“I’m looking forward to working with these young boys and get the win for the people and our families,” he added.

Feedbacks: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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