Head coach John McKee may be forced to leave out key backline threats including Semi Radradra and Vereniki Goneva when Fiji face the New Zealand Maori in Suva on Saturday.


Backline players Josh Matavesi, Nikola Matawalu, Radradra and Goneva were all undergoing rehabilitation while the rest of the squad trained for injuries picked up at the end of last season with their European clubs.

McKee said he would assess the players carrying injuries before making a decision on their fitness in the build-up to the game which sees Fiji attempting a first win over the Maori in 62 years. McKee, whose main concern will be turning up at the World Cup in Japan with all of his main strike runners fit, told Sunsport: “This game will be 90 percent about us and 10 percent about them. We are very much focussed on our performance this week and our journey to the World Cup. The history is interesting but it doesn’t add any pressure to the team.

“Our strengths are in our ability to play the open game and our ability to take advantage of mismatches or space or even beating a man one-on-one. But we have to work on our total game as well so quite a bit of our focus will be around our defence this week.

“We certainly want to give a good start to our campaign and we are working towards that as our big focus. They are a good side with some players coming out of the Super Rugby competition. We know they are ready to go and they are little bit like us, trying their combination as they had not much training together.

“Last week was a lot of hard work for our squad and this week will be more technical and will focus on our game plan. We want to start our campaign well with a success against the Maori All Blacks.

The Maori, who will host Fiji in Rotorua in a week’s time, have announced a strong team for the first of the two-match series, including All Blacks flanker Akira Ioane.



Nadolo explores the life and career of Fijian rugby legend Nemani Nadolo.

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