Flying Fijians seek big improvements

The Flying Fijians are hoping another week in camp will make a world of difference when they take on Ireland in Dublin.

The Pacific Nations Cup holders opened their Northern Tour with a 19-10 defeat by Italy in Catania at the weekend, who the home side avenging their loss in Suva in June.

The result denied Fiji a chance to overtake France in the test rankings and coach John McKee said they struggled for cohesion with the squad having come together at short notice from all corners of the globe.

"We had some good individual performances but probably our key combinations didn't operate as well as we needed to to put the Italians under any sort sustained pressure," he said.

"Probably another area that they really need to work on is we gave away a number of penalties in the first 15-20 minutes of the game, which enabled Italy to get a little bit of momentum and put us under some pressure."

John McKee said some changes are likely for Sunday's match against Ireland, who are coming off a clincial 38-3 demolition of South Africa.

"I think probably Nemani Nadolo will come back into the mix this week and maybe a little bit of a shuffle round in the forward pack but we will keep the core of the team together so we can build on those combinations we talked about," he said.

"Certainly looking at their game against South Africa they played very very well but we're certainly up for the challenge...we know the areas of our game we need to work on.

"They're not massive big fix-ups, we just need to get a little more accurate around our physicality - just get those combinations which will be much better for us now, given we're one game into our campaign."

This weekend's test is the first between Ireland and Fiji since 2009.



Photo: AFP Fiji number 8 Nemani Nagusa is tackled by Italy's Tommaso Castello, Tommaso Boni and Sergio Parisse during their test in Catania.