Category Archives: Flying Fijians coach

Wallabies fan? Yes

I was wearing a Wallaby shirt the other day and someone commented; are you a Wallaby fan? To which I replied of course.

The navy blue quality polo shirt with Australian logos and insignia was a gift to me from my younger sister who lives in Melbourne and I enjoy wearing it.

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Filed under Fiji, Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, Focus on rwc, Opinion, Rugby World Cup, Wallabies

Botia, Nayacalevu pairing to succeed

The new pairing of a midfield combination of Lepani Botia and Waisea Nayacalevu for the Flying Fijians opening match against the New Zealand Maoris is bold.
Bold in the sense that French overcomers Jale Vatubua and Semi Radradra have been rested with media reports claiming injury.
It is a breath of fresh air and shows the depth of resources in the squad and the willingness of coach John McKee to test new combinations. Continue reading

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Filed under Fiji, Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, Focus on rwc, French Club Rugby, Maori All Blacks, New Zealand, Pacific Nationas Cup, Rugby World Cup, Top 14, William Webb-Ellis Cup, World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup

We will be stronger: Fiji

John McKee . . .  thrilled with second half effort from players. Photo: Skysports

John McKee . . . thrilled with second half effort from players. Photo: Skysports

Fiji head coach John McKee was thrilled with his side’s ‘tremendously gutsy’ showing in the second half in their narrow loss to Wales.

Campese Ma’afu’s second yellow card on 52 minutes left Fiji facing an uphill struggle at the Millennium Stadium, but they put the pressure on their hosts in a scrappy encounter.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Fiji tour, Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, November Tests, Wales

Nadolo and Goneva start for Fiji

Nemani Nadolo attacks against the Cook Islands earlier this year. Photo: Planet Rugby

Nemani Nadolo attacks against the Cook Islands earlier this year. Photo: Planet Rugby

Vereniki Goneva and Nemani Nadolo will line up in midfield for Fiji when they take on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.

Head coach John McKee has made four changes in all to his backline, with Goneva and Nadolo joined in the starting lineup by Waisea Nayacalevu and Josh Matavesi.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Fiji tour, Flying Fijians coach, November Tests, Wales

McKee gives Fiji rugby long-term mission

John McKee . . . rounding up skills for Fijian players. Photo: AFP

John McKee . . . rounding up skills for Fijian players. Photo: AFP

Fiji coach John McKee believes the Pacific islanders could spring a surprise at next year’s World Cup, driven by international exposure and smartphone technology.

Kiwi McKee, who has only been in charge since May, is currently undergoing an exhausting European trip assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a side who will face France and Wales in November.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, Focus on rwc, France, November Tests

Pivac backed for Scarlets job

Wayne Pivac coached the Flying Fijians from 2004 to 2007. Photo: Skysports

Wayne Pivac coached the Flying Fijians from 2004 to 2007. Photo: Skysports

Former Flying Fijians coach Wayne Pivac has received a glowing recommendation to take the Scarlets top job in the RaboDirect Pro12 competition by former Wales back Shane Howarth.

Assistant Scarlets coach Pivac is rumoured to be the front-runner to replace the outgoing Simon Easterby, who has left the side to become Ireland’s new forwards coach.

Pivac selected by the Fiji Rugby Union to coach the Flying Fijians from 2004 preparing for the 2007 Rugby World Cup but left the squad in 2007 a few months away from the French championship.

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Filed under Aviva Premiership, Contract, Flying Fijians coach, Heineken Cup, RaboDirect Pro12

Little gives ‘all Dewes respect’

Nicky Little was Fiji's pivot in four RWCs tallying 125 points. Photo: IRB

Nicky Little was Fiji’s pivot in four RWCs tallying 125 points. Photo: IRB

As Fiji prepare for Saturday’s all-important Rugby World Cup 2015 Oceania qualifier against the Cook Islands Total Rugby catches up with one of the Island nation’s most famous players, Nicky Little, to hear about his new career in coaching and to look back on events in France 2007 when Fiji shocked the rugby world.

As a 71-cap Fiji international, New Zealand-born Nicky Little appeared in four Rugby World Cups and his tally of 125 points puts him eighth on the competition’s all-time list. Eighteen of those points came in Fiji’s famous 38-34 win over Wales at RWC 2007, when prop Graham Dewes crashed over late on to put the Islanders through to their first quarter-final for 20 years.

Little recalled: “At half-time, when we were four tries up, we looked at each other and thought, ‘what’s happened, man’? “Half of us were thinking that they (Wales) were going to be angry and the other half were like, ‘woo-hoo’ we have got this. Sure enough, they came back and scored four tries.”

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Filed under Feature, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, Focus on rwc, Pacific Islanders, Pacific Nations Cup, Personalities

FRU appoints Fiji coach

National rugby coach John McKee with Vodafone executive Liga Gukisuva and FRU Acting CEO. Photo: Fiji Times

National rugby coach John McKee (centre) with Vodafone executive Liga Gukisuva and FRU Acting CEO. Photo: Fiji Times

The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) Board is pleased to announce the appointment of John McKee as the new rugby 15s Flying Fijian Head Coach. 

McKee was selected ahead of other twenty four applicants who had applied and were considered for the position. McKee has been the current Manager of the High Performance Unit since November 2013.

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Filed under Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, Personalities

Fiji squad is the best: Tabua

warming-up.jpg

National coach Ilivasi Tabua believes the current squad has what it takes to overcome any hurdles they face and make a good showing at the VII Rugby World Cup which kicks off France on September 7.

“These are the best resources we have available and this is what we will work with,” Tabua said after the announcement of the 30-man squad at the Holiday Inn in Suva tonight.

Tabua was upbeat with the named squad members and believes they had what it took to reach the quarterfinals of the championship.

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Filed under Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, Focus on rwc, IRB, Local xvs, William Webb-Ellis Cup

Fiji in trouble for France: Johnstone

 Former national rugby coach Brad Johnstone believes the national side is in dire straits and would have to take extreme measures to compete well in the upcoming France Rugby World Cup which kicks off in three months.

Johnstone believes current coach Ilivasi Tabua is in very trying circumstances and is doing all he could to galvanise a team which has not been able to play together in the lead up to the biggest stage in rugby.

“As I said before Ili has inherited a very difficult situation,” Johnstone said.

“I believe he is doing all he can under the circumstances  but if his players are spread all  over the world and his finances have been cut by 50 percent,  Fiji is in a pretty dire situation.”

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Filed under Europe Fiji players, Fiji Rugby Union, Flying Fijians, Flying Fijians coach, Focus on rwc, IRB, IRB Sevens series, Pacific Islanders, Pacific Nations Cup