Fiji Sports | Rugby | SPORTS

Get It Right

Getting the right mix from a pool of talented players and fine tuning them into a successful team is not an easy task. That is the dilemma faced by Flying Fijians head coach, Vern Cotter.
01 Nov 2022 13:52
Get It Right
Flying Fijians halfback Frank Lomani (with ball) during training in Libourne, France, on October 29, 2022. Standing from left Viliame Mata, Adrea Cocagi, Levani Botia (on the ground), captain Waisea Nayacalevu, forwards coach Graham Dewes looks on. Photos: Calero/Resistant.

Getting the right mix from a pool of talented players and fine tuning them into a successful team is not an easy task. That is the dilemma faced by Flying Fijians head coach, Vern Cotter.

In an interview with French newspaper Sud Quest, Cotter said, he needs to get things right by next year’s Rugby World Cup in France. With exceptional talents at his disposal, he said, the difficulty was to turn them into a successful team.

“This is the challenge,” Cotter said.

“The challenge is to get players who live in Fiji and those playing for the (Fijian) Drua franchise in Super Rugby, and then those who are in Europe.”

The Fijians have moved their training base from Libourne, south western France to Edinburgh to await Sunday’s (Fiji time) Test match against Scotland at Murrayfield. They are without star centre, Semi Radradra, who is still recovering from a knee injury, flanker  Mesulame Kunavula, Josua Tuisova and veteran first five eight Ben Volavola.

Cotter however, said he stil has a good mix in the current squad with the return of experienced fullback Kini Murimurivalu.

“He (Murimurivalu) brings what he knows with Leicester (Tigers), that is to say a very pragmatic rugby.”

The no-nonsense coach said centre, Waisea Nayacalevu, as captain was now growing in his leadership role. Also, Castres centre, Adrea Cocagi, was medically cleared after undergoing a head injury Assessment test against Clermont in their Top 14 clash last Saturday.

Cocagi, is hopeful of making his Test debut.

Meanwhile, the return of breakdown specialist Richie Gray to Murrayfield with the Flying Fijians will be a concern for Scotland. Gray joined the Flying Fijians camp in Libourne after missing out on the July Tests in Suva. He is recognised as one of the world’s leading breakdown coaches, having devised his own training equipment with his business, GSI Performance.

GSI Performance has built up key relationships with partners around the world to provide new technical training aids and innovative coaching programmes to create more technically-skilled players in the sport.

Story By: Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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