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Lions star gives Fiji players crash course in creating a Test class lineout

By Chris Jones
PA

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The Vodafone Flying Fijians have been given a crash course in lineout play by Rory Best, the former Ireland captain, in the build-up to tomorrow’s test match with Wales in Cardiff.

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A short preparation time meant there were line-out problems with timing and calls in last weekend’s win over Spain in Madrid and acting head coach Gareth Baber has tasked forwards coach Best with helping the Fijian forwards sort out this key area of the game before facing the Six Nations champions.

Baber told the Fiji Times: “We are working hard on that with Rory. The players are studying themselves from last week, understanding the rhythm that they need in the lineout and the options that they call-in. Ultimately the biggest thing is that when the pressure comes on, it is being able to execute those plays.

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“The intention is to be better and that is what we are working on all the time. I’m really pleased with how the players are engaging with Rory and engaging with their own learning to make sure that when they are put under pressure that they are producing what everybody wants to see from their performances.

“The players had been together for less than six days for the Spain game. So we will certainly see improvements in the line-outs. Obviously there was an issue there just in terms of the connection between the caller and the thrower with the movements that they were looking for.

“In the lineout situation, it is almost like a dance with people in it, so you are trying to get all those rhythms right to be able to outwit your opponent, find the space to jump into and secure the ball. Wales will of course look at areas where they can stop us from doing that.

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“That is what the game is about. There is competition and battle all over the field and ultimately we will have to be better in that area and we know that.”

Fiji Team: Peni Ravai, Sam Matavesi, Mesake Doge, Api Ratuniyarawa, Temo Mayanavanua, Albert Tuisue, Mesulame Kunavula, Viliame Mata, Frank Lomani, Ben Volavola, Eroni Sau, Vilimoni Botitu, Waisea Nayacalevu, Josua Tuisova, Setareki Tuicuvu; Reserves: Zurile Togiatama, Eroni Mawi, Leeroy Atalifo, Tevita Ratuva, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Nikola Matawalu, Apisai Naqalevu, Aminiasi Tuimaba.

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