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‘Bring it Back’

The excuse of no game because of the global pandemic is not a good one, as the other nations also had no rugby, says Franck Boivert.
15 Jul 2022 15:37
‘Bring it Back’
An U20 Argentina player on attack during their match against the U20 Fiji team at the Oceania Under-20 Rugby Championship.

The excuse of no game because of the global pandemic is not a good one, as the other nations also had no rugby, says Franck Boivert.

The rugby guru is reacting to Fiji Under-20’s dismal performance at last week’s Oceania championship at the Sunshine Coast, Australia.

The young Flying Fijians were walloped 74-5 by New Zealand, thumped 58-5 by Australia and thrashed 61-5 by Argentina.

The result according to Fiji Rugby Union Chief Executive Officer John O’Connor was expected.

 

“We haven’t had any schools rugby the past two years and that goes to show in the results we recorded,” O’Connor said on Wednesday.

“Those results were expected. Majority of the players were Under-18 and 19, we are looking ahead in terms of the World Championship (used to be called the IRB Junior World Championship) in 2023.

“The exposure and standard is part of learning, we are now focussing on the 2023 U20 World Championship.

“We are soon going to resume the Deans and secondary schools rugby competition where we will draw talents from.”

But Boivert thinks otherwise: “I suppose Fiji Rugby Union could have organised a super rugby U20 competition with the franchises including several unions according to their geographical area.”

“The problem is, that FRU changed the local U20 competition to U19,” he said.

 

“That is a very strange decision as it does not allow us provincial coaches enough time to develop players. With the U20 competition we have two years to develop a player but with U19 only one year and that is not enough.”

“You cannot properly identify and develop players in just one year, we need at least two years.”

“By not having an Under-20 competition, selectors cannot properly identify talent; they do it with trials. Trials cannot replace a competition environment.”

“It is unfair to the players to be assessed during trials, to assess properly a player you must do it throughout a whole season in a competitive environment.”

Boivert urged FRU to bring back the U20 competition.

 

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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