New-age Fiji to cause RWC upset?

Date published: November 4 2014

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Fiji head coach John McKee is backing his side to ruffle the feathers of some of the Tier One nations at next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Fiji head coach John McKee is backing his side to ruffle the feathers of some of the Tier One nations at next year’s Rugby World Cup.

The Pacific Islanders are pooled with England, Australia and Wales – an unforgiving group with Uruguay making up the five teams in Pool 1.

Fiji face Wales this November, with McKee’s men being tipped by some to hand Warren Gatland’s side a defeat in Cardiff.

McKee’s aim is to help Fiji make that step up to joining the Test rugby world’s elite.

“To qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup is something which would be a surprise, but why not?” McKee told AFP.

“But for me as a coach my philosophy on where I want to be is to be competitive with the Tier One countries, and in one, two or three years to see Fiji go and play England, France or Ireland not as a Tier Two against a Tier One country.”

The New Zealander also opened up on the technological advances being made by the Fiji staff to keep tabs on all their players, who are dotted around Europe.

“It can be tricky to keep track of our players in France and in the UK while we live in the southern hemisphere. I am spending more time travelling. I came to Europe in April — I went to Clermont, Brive, Toulouse,” added McKee.

“We’ll do it again in March. I want to see the clubs as well, not just the players, to build some relationships.

“With my senior players, we are working with Skype conference calls and we have a database system where they enter their information — if they have new injuries, they tell us how they are sleeping, what their energy levels are like.”

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