November 08, 2018
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend says Fiji "is the equivalent to Brazil in football".
Speaking to BBC Scotland's Sportsound podcast, ahead of their Autumn Test this Sunday, Townsend said the Flying Fijians have some of the best individual players in the world and compared them to the traditional footballing nation.
"Fiji is an excellent side. Fiji to me is the equivalent to Brazil in football, or could be the equivalent of Brazil.”
"We know a couple of them very well, obviously Leone Nakarawa was voted European player of the year last year. He's in the Fiji team. More and more Fijians are getting opportunities to play at top clubs in Europe,” he said.
Townsend believes Fiji could soon develop into a true force on the international stage.
"When that comes together they could so something very special at a World Cup, they could do something special against any opposition.”
"That day is coming. I really believe that more and more Fijians are going to be playing at the top clubs in Europe.”
"You look at Bill Mata, who came from nowhere and played sevens, never played fifteens before, and is one of the best players in the Pro14 now.”
"We're on guard. We know how strong Fiji are already with those players and what they could become over the next couple of seasons,” he added.
Scotland and Fiji have played each other a total of seven times of which Scotland has won five times and lost twice.
Their most recent meeting was in June last year where the John McKee coached Fijians registered a 27-22 victory at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians will meet Scotland in Murrayfield, Edinburgh at 3.30am (Fiji Time) on Sunday.
By Reginald Chandar