Planet Rugby



Hansen hails Fiji and organisers

01st December 2013 08:00


coenie oosthuizen barbarians

67,000 watching: Twickenham

Barbarians boss Steve Hansen hailed the spirit of an under-strength Fijian side as the Baa-baas ran in seven tries in a 43-19 win at Twickenham.

Fiji, celebrating their 100-year anniversary, were missing several first-team names and ultimately went down to their superior opponent.

"Fiji play the sort of attacking rugby people want to watch and once everyone settled down after the first 15 minutes it was full on," said Hansen.

"Both teams threw the ball around and, as I said, there were some nice tries scored.

"The promoters for the game did a fantastic job and we've probably seen a lot of first time rugby people here today.

"It's important, from an England point of view at the very least, that those fans continue to follow the game and I have nothing but praise for the players."

67,000 spectators watched at Twickenham, with Hansen insisting the fixture offers a huge insight into how successful the 2015 Rugby World Cup, hosted by England, will be.

"There were a lot of South Africans and New Zealanders in the crowd from what I heard, so hopefully they also continue to follow the game - it bodes well for the World Cup here in 2015 because you need that support right across the tournament," added Hansen.

"We saw that back in New Zealand where everyone came out and supported teams and that's what the organisers will be hoping happens in the next one.

"It's been a great week because we've got to meet a lot of guys we usually play against and form some relationships with them and talk about life outside of rugby as well as the game itself.

"Plus, of course, I was able to have a look at some of the younger guys in the Kiwi squad in front of a big crowd without the pressure of it being an All Black Test match.

"It was a good game of rugby in front of a good crowd of 67,000, who were able to see some good rugby and some nice tries. I think there were nine scored on the day so they would have gone away quite happy."

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