Fiji Sports | SPORTS

Mental Fitness

The Flying Fijians will engage the ser­vices of a Mental Performance coach for the Europe Tour in November.
14 Oct 2022 15:00
Mental Fitness
Sireli Maqala are expected to join Vern Cotter’s Flying Fijians squad.

The Flying Fijians will engage the ser­vices of a Mental Performance coach for the Europe Tour in November.

This tour is critical in the Flying Fijians preparation for next year’s Rugby World Cup in France.

The hiring of a Mental Performance coach is a build-up from August’s Pacific Nations Cup (PNC), where Fiji finished behind Samoa and Australia A.

A mental performance coach helps athletes develop mental skills to perform consist­ently in competition. The coach focuses on the physical and tactical compo­nents of the sport.

It is understood the mental performance coach is going to work closely with head coach Vern Cotter along with the coaching staff of Daryl Gibson, Glen Jack­son, breakdown special­ist Ritchie Gray and the newly appointed for­wards coach Graham Dewes.

The Flying Fijians take on Scotland on November 5 in Murray­field, followed by Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on November 12 and the French Barbarians on No­vember 19 with the venue yet to be decided.

Squad composition

The Fiji Rugby Union is expected to soon release the names of the Flying Fi­jian squad.

However, the squad is expected to be a 50:50 split between the Europe-based play­ers who are currently into their season and the Southern Hemisphere players who are match fit with game time in the New Zealand National Provincial Championship (NPC).

Players like loosehead Hareiti He­tet, lanky lock Isoa Nasilasila, and winger Manasa Mataele have booked their spots for the November Tests. Also for consideration is livewire hooker Zuriel Togiatama and a few others.

Add depth

Adding depth into certain backline positions, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medallist and now Bayonne star centre, Sireli Maqala, is a definite starter for the November Tests.

He is going to be tried out at No.15 because of his superb kicking skills. Mataele was also tried at fullback during the PNC.

Fullback, is an area the Flying Fi­jians coaches are working hard on to build depth. The only fullback in the squad is Brive’s Seta Tuicuvu while vet­eran Kini Murimurivalu is playing well for Leicester Tigers in the Gallagher Premier­ship.

On the No.10 with the return of Teti Tela from injury and is now with the Fijian Drua, the November tour could see Castres second five eight Vilimoni Botitu being given a run in the position. Botitu played at No.10 while with Natabua High School and the Fijian Under-20 side.

Story By: Leone Cabenatabua


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