Flying Fijians

Flying Fijians relish second shot at All Blacks

Despite matching up to the All Blacks physically and winning a number of penalties up front, coach Vern Cotter said his side will need to much better in the second test.

"Yeah we got a few turnovers. We got penalised a few times as well, so we definitely want to take away those penalties that are unnecessary - we still want to be competitive in that area.

"Different field, different conditions this weekend - we'll adapt to what we need to do to defend well, look for those turnovers but also not give away penalties, so it's going to be a balance between that."

Key players join Fiji camp ahead of 2nd All Blacks test

Melbourne Rebels halfback Frank Lomani, who was a regular on the wing during the recent Super Rugby season, arrived into camp last night, while Brisbane based halfback Moses Sorovi and first five Teti Tela joined the squad earlier in the week.

Quarantine free travel to from Melbourne to New Zealand resumed at midnight Sunday, with Brisbane following suit 24 hours later. Passengers must return a

negative Covid test 72 hours before departure.

Coles on a roll in All Blacks victory

The All Blacks were expecting a much stiffer contest than in their 102-0 romp against a weakened Tonga side last week, and the Fijians delivered with a physical challenge their hosts struggled to contain at times.

While a home win never really looked in doubt, five-pointers for the Fijians from Albert Tuisue and Mesulame Kunavula as well as a penalty try will give New Zealand coach Ian Foster much to ponder ahead of next week's second test in Hamilton.

"I'm pretty pleased really. They offered a pretty stern challenge.

Strong Fijian side excited to take on the All Blacks

The All Blacks will host Fiji in Dunedin on Saturday 10 July - the same location where they last fought in 2011.

Utility back Nemani Nadolo said these opportunities to play against the best do not come often for Pacific teams and that it will be a special moment for all the Fijian players.

"We're under no illusion that this is going to be an easy game. It's going to test us both mentality and physically," he said.

"Our coaching staff are doing their best to prepare us and we, ourselves, are doing as much as we can to be ready for this game."

Fit and Flying: Manasa Mataele ready for Fiji debut

The Suva-born winger was first approached by Fiji ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and then prior to their European tour last year.

But after two years of injury struggles, which included tearing his right ACL and a pectoral tear in 2020, Mataele said he wanted to be back to his best before taking on the challenge.

"For me personally I want to get into the groove of things where I'm playing good rugby, I'm playing rugby on back to back weeks and gaining that confidence back and then get to that international stage," he said.

Flying Fijians announce extended squad for All Blacks test matches

Fiji are set to play back to back matches against New Zealand in Dunedin on July 10th, and again a week later in Hamilton.

With a mix of experienced and young players confirmed for the upcoming games, Head Coach Vern Cotter said they need to keep things simple.

"It's an exciting squad and a perfect opportunity for the players who have been training well and the exposure within the squad against other confirmed international players will be fruitful," he said.

"We are looking forward to getting this group together and we will have to keep things simple."

Flying Fijians set to play All Blacks, host Ireland in 2021

Fiji have played New Zealand nine previous occasions, including five tests, the last of which was a 60-14 defeat in the last ever test at Carisbrook in Dunedin in 2011.

Fiji Rugby chief executive John O'Connor said they were also in talks to host Ireland during the July test window, when the British and Irish Lions were scheduled to be in South Africa.

"I think next year we have the All Blacks so we will look forward to preparing for that and [hosting] Ireland and hopefully we have that vaccine and the test schedule for next year continues as per plan."

Flying Fijians end Northern Hemisphere tour on high despite Covid-19 challenges

The Flying Fijians ended a difficult six week tour with a commanding 38-24 victory over Georgia in Edinburgh, with eight players making their test debut and returning veteran Nemani Nadolo bagging a hat-trick in what proved to be their only match of the tournament following a Covid-19 outbreak within the squad.

Fiji Rugby CEO John O'Connor said it was just reward after a trying period for the players, who spent two week in isolation in their hotel rooms while tests against Portugal, France, Italy and Scotland were called off.

"We are a community-based society," he said.

Vern Cotter names nine debutants for the Flying Fijians' Autumn Nations Cup match against Georgia

Vern Cotter has named nine debutants under captain Semi Radradra with the young flankers Johnny Dyer and Mesulame Kunavula together with Lock Temo Mayanavanua named in the starting lineup.

Sunday will be the Flying Fijians first and last game in the Autumn Nations Cup after their earlier pool matches against France, Italy and Scotland were called off because of an outbreak of Covid-19 in the team.

'It just sucks watching it on TV': Nemani Nadolo on hotel quarantine life with Fiji in France

Despite having no option but to see France, Italy and Scotland all awarded 28-0 bonus-point group wins, Nadolo and co are still clinging to the hope that they will eventually have a sufficient clean bill of health and will be able to participate in a December 5 play-off match, most likely against Georgia at Murrayfield.