Saturday, September 30, 2023
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Everyone has an opinion on selection: Raiwalui

Fiji Water Flying Fijians Head Coach Simon Raiwalui says rugby is a religion in the country where everybody is the coach of the team and has an opinion on selection.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Raiwalui said: “It’s ingrained in our culture and our people will go to any lengths to watch the games.”

“If that means taking the boat to go up to the village or travelling to the city, they will find a way. It is one of the beautiful things about Fiji and how it brings people together.”

Fijian rugby has always been known for its flair but Raiwalui has also looked to instil discipline, without taking away the X-factor.

“We have been working hard on discipline and the physical aspect but we still want to play like Fijians,” said Raiwalui.

“We always have talent but it is about getting the key things right, like fitness, so we could play rugby at a high level.”

“We have traditionally been a team that plays in spurts and our priority is to play against the top teams for 80 minutes.”

“A lot of teams will say wait for the 30-minute mark and see Fiji tire or lose discipline. We are trying to eradicate that. “

“We have worked hard on our set-piece and our scrum and lineout have been going well. We have worked hard on the basics so we have the foundations to free up our play.”

Captain Waisea Nayacalevu said he has seen the difference from previous Fiji teams.

“It is more settled and we have been gelling well,” said Nayacalevu.

“Fijians like playing a free style of rugby, that’s what we want to do while keeping our structure.”

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports |


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