(RUGBY HOUSE – SUVA) – 23 MAY 2014 – Vodafone Flying Fijians Head Coach, John McKee today named the Vodafone Flying Fijians team for 2014 Italy v Fiji Test Match, Pacific Nations Cup and Rugby World Cup Qualifier to be held in June in Fiji.
The team march into camp next week and will play against Italy on 7 June (ANZ Stadium), Tonga on 14 June (Churchill Park), Samoa on 21 June (ANZ Stadium) and Cook Islands on 28 June 2014 (Churchill Park).
Vodafone Flying Fijians Team
Akapusi Qera – Captain
John McKee Head Coach
Aseri Rokoura Manager
Mosese Rauluni Assistant Coach
Andre Bell Assistant Coach
Alan Muir Technical Advisor
Alifereti Mocelutu Assistant Coach
Nacani Cawanibuka National Fitness Trainer
William Koong Team Medic & Physiotherapist
Speaking on behalf of Vodafone and the consortium of sponsors, Vodafone Fiji’s Sponsorship Manager Ligavatu Gukisuva expressed his delight and support for the team.
“We look forward to seeing the team run on the field with their Vodafone branded attire,” he said.
“Looking at the wealth of experience of the players selected today we are also rest assured that the Vodafone Flying Fijians will provide the necessary fire power to take on the Italians, Tongans, Samoans and the Cook Islanders next month,”
“We are proud to be empowering the team to be the best that they want to be on the playing field,” he added.
Meanwhile arrangements for the four locally hosted international events are coming together.
“There are certain guidelines and systems that need to be in place when hosting such events,” said Acting CEO of FRU, Dr Berlin Kafoa.
He said the team at Rugby House are now working overtime to ensure that the standards of hosting such matches are on par as well as to create a festival atmosphere at all the events.
“We are grateful for the assistance and guidance we have received to date from the International Rugby Board (IRB), officials from the various venues that are hosting the games, from our consortium of sponsors, our stakeholders and even the media,” Kafoa added.
“We have exciting curtain raisers organised for each of the events and a host of activities at all four venues plus special crowd giveaways”.
He said tickets for the 1st match on 7 June will be released early next week.
JOHN MCKEE: TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT JUNE TESTS:
“I am very pleased today, as National Coach, to name our 30 players and standby players for the 2014 June Test series.
This is a very strong squad with a good mix of experienced and up and coming players and with local players joining overseas professionals.
The selection has been difficult and some very good players have narrowly missed out on winning a place in the squad. The selected players must not only show good form on the training field and in games but also be ambassadors for Fiji as Flying Fijian Players off the field to ensure that they remain part of our plans through to 2015 & beyond.
I am very happy to name Akapusi Qera as captain of the Flying Fijians. I know Akapusi will be a fine leader by example on the field and take a strong responsibility as a Senior Player off the field.
My philosophy for the playing style of the Flying Fijians will be strongly based on the core principles of the game of winning the ball and going forward.
We must Go Forward before we can go Wide. We have many players (both backs & forwards) who are strong and dangerous runners with the ball. We must do the basics well to put the opposition under pressure to ensure we can create opportunities to score tries.
In the modern game recent stats show us that approximately 35% of tries come from turnovers & kick receipts. We must develop these areas of our game to ensure we make the most of these situations in the game in converting opportunities into points.
We must work very hard to bring our set play up to the standard to be successful in International Rugby. I know we are behind were we need to be at this point but with work in these areas expect to see substantial improvement over the June Test Series.
The Game of course is not only about Attack. We will in the coming camps be working very hard to ensure that our defence systems are of World Class and can resist any style of play the opposition may attack us with.
I am also very pleased in the composition of my management group.
The manager & coaches bring wide experience in their fields of expertise to the Flying Fijians and are highly motivated to work in preparing this Team to high levels of performance at the highest levels of our game.”