Nakarawa not bothered about Wallabies adopted Fijians

Lock Leone Nakarawa insists he is not “bothered” about facing four Fijian born players who will be lining up for Australia when the two countries clash in the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The Fijian born quartet of Isi Naisarani, Samu Kerevi. Marika Koroibete and Tevita Kuridrani are  likely to be in the Wallabies team against Fiji a the Sapporo Dome on September 21 and Nakarawa recognises it could be an unwanted distraction.

However, the Racing 92 lock who won a  Sevens gold medal at the Rio Olympics, told the FijiSun: “Other Fijians play for other countries for their own personal reasons. We don’t want to think or are bothered about them. We want to focus on what we can do and tasked to achieve at the World Cup.

“The first game is very important and fans expect good performance from the team. It is up to us to work hard and we are the ones who have been picked for the RWC. All of us have to work hard. We need to have the mindset and the team will move on from there. Nothing is impossible.

“I always say that we believe in one God who is the creator and we Fijians know that. We start small and grow up and we believe in one God and it is possible to beat Australia. We have the individual talents but this is the team game so everyone should prepare well. for the next two weeks. There were some issues with the lineouts and scrums but there is time to polish on that. We need to learn our own roles and master what we can do best.”

The World Cup serves as a reminder of the number of Pacific Islanders who have qualified for other nations with World Rugby being constantly asked to deliver more financial help to keep talent at home. Fiji have been drawn in the same pool as Wales and Australia with just two teams going through to the knock-out stages this could become one of the most fascinating groups in the tournament.

Fiji head coach John McKee has managed to assemble arguably the most powerful Fijian squad to arrive at a World Cup but the number of players in opposition squads will continue to be a major topic of conversation during the tournament.

Fiji are already at their Japan base in Akita City and have been joined by Fiji Sevens coach Gareth Baber who is looking for potential training bases leading into next year’s Olympic Games. Fiji won the Sevens gold in Rio and are the current HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions.