Rugby | SPORTS

Pacific Players Need More Exposure: Jones

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and Moana Pacific’s inclusion in the Pacific Su­per Rugby is important to them go­ing into the future, particularly in their preparation for the upcoming World Cup.
11 Nov 2022 16:00
Pacific Players Need More Exposure: Jones
Sir Michael Jones.

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua and Moana Pacific’s inclusion in the Pacific Su­per Rugby is important to them go­ing into the future, particularly in their preparation for the upcoming World Cup.

Former All Blacks back row and Samoan representative Sir Michael Jones said Pacific nations rather than using raw talent when taking on big rugby names should look for more exposure.

“Pacific islands players need more exposure to professional rugby not just in the United Kingdom, Japan, and in France but also in Super Rug­by,” Sir Michael said.

“You’ll see the fruits of that in the next World Cup, because you will get another year of development and exposure,” he said.

He believes that Pacific Island teams will be on par come the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

He did not mince his words with the results of the autumn Interna­tional test where Flying Fijians lost 28-12 to Scotland in Edinburgh, Italy storming over Samoa 49-17, and Ton­ga beating Spain 40-6.

“I definitely think Pacific Island teams will get better and better,” he said.

“Fiji, you know did well but Scot­land’s a very good team.

“You know, even the All Blacks are worried about Scotland and England, they’re going up another notch.

“That is why it is important that the southern hemisphere and par­ticularly the Pacific Islands don’t lag behind.”

Other results last weekend: All Blacks thrashed Wales 55-23, Ireland edged South Africa 19-16, France edged Australia 30-29, and Ar­gentina upset England 30-29.

He added the new Super Rugby Pasifika season around the corner will be very interesting.

“It is great for Pacific rugby as Mo­ana Pasifika players have gone into the Ikale Tahi and Samoa.

“Also the Drua is the fitting path­way for the Flying Fijians the next ten years.

“I know it is the same team and they have some new boys. They will get better just like Moana Pasifika. The challenge for the Drua and Mo­ana Pasifika is that the expectation is high now that the grace period is over.

“That’s healthy and one of the most important recorded vehicles for our rugby is playing in the Super Rugby team competition. So having the Drua there it’s going to be so good for Fiji rugby and I think we’re already seeing that,” he said.

The Vern Cotter coached Flying Fi­jians play world ranked number one team Ireland in Dublin tomorrow. Tonga hosts Chile in Romania, Italy hosts Australia, in Florence while Georgia hosts Samoa this weekend.

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj



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