The meticulous selection of a squad to represent Fiji at the Japan Rugby World Cup will be followed closely by the players and fans as we draw closer to the event.
It is interesting to get insight in the final Fiji sevens squad for the Olympics in Rio by former coach Ben Ryan who picked character above talent in his book, Sevens Heaven which he shared in detail about the gold medal win.
One of the best players who was a potential candidate was scratched from the team after off field activities including breaking curfews and smoking with one late night fag session ended up burning his London hotel room curtains.
Instead of attempting to redeem the situation, he treated it as a joke and failed to apologise for the high risk blunder with the coach having to pay for the damages.
The small issues off the pitch on tour with other alcohol related issues in Fiji and wrong decision making during an important tournament cost the player a place for history in the making.
The small issues of indiscipline rubs off on other players and puts the team in disarray mentally disrupting the team culture and preparation which shows up in most cases on the next match, which costs more in the long run.
This is why Flying Fijians coach John McKee and his staff need to select the best players on form as well as off field activity which will affect the team culture and discipline.
Ryan made some hard decisions which paid off with a disciplined team who went through the whole process in preparation and the actual tournament ready to play and gave their utmost in Rio.
The assembling on July 1; of the 42 member team named on June 15 after a wider training group was announced on May 22 and 14 staff including some who have some Rugby World Cup and Super Rugby experience would be the best Flying Fijian team ever.
McKee has named Top 14 Brive forward Dominiko Waqaniburotu as skipper after leading the team in the November European tour which included a win over France.
McKee said on the Fiji Rugby Union website that Waqaniburotu’s leadership was outstanding during the tour.
“Waqaniburotu certainly led by example during the November tour last year. I think his leadership was instrumental in helping the team to prepare for and put on such a great performance against the French team in Paris,” he said.
“I really look forward to working with Dominiko as captain and I know we have a very strong leadership group in this team who will be driving a lot of team values and behaviours while in camp and at the Rugby World Cup.”