Flying Fijians coach John McKee is set to unleash two of his most potent attacking weapons during the Pacific Nations Cup with Bordeaux’s Semi Radradra and  Harlequins wing Vereniki Goneva having finally recovered from injury worries.


Both players have been following personal return to play programmes and were forced to miss the drawn two-match series with the Maori All Blacks. McKee wants to ensure he arrives at the World Cup in September with all of his leading players ready to deliver upsets in a pool headed by Wales and Australia.

McKee said: “Semi Radradra was out after his injury in the European season. We are looking forward to him to be available from next week. He will play either against Canada or Samoa. I’m also hoping that Vereniki Goneva will return to play in time for the match against Samoa.”

Despite the absence of Radradra and Goneva, McKee still has an experienced line-up for the opening Pacific Nations Cup match against Japan this Saturday in Kamaishi. “We know the quality of players Japan has and the importance of playing them at one of our World Cup venues, so we have to put on a good performance,” explained McKee.

Clermont forward Peceli Yato comes in after missing the last two matches as McKee continues to mix up his selections to give all of the players the chance to impress. “Leone Nakarawa and Levani Botia are also now part of the mix and will be strong contenders for selection,” added McKee. “I’am very pleased with the way the squad is working together.

“The PNC is very important to us as the current title holders and we want to maintain our position as the top team across the tournament. With the depth in our squad, we can balance preparing for the World Cup.


“I don’t expect Japan to change in the overall style of play. They will really try and play an up tempo game against us. They  will play to the edges, in a very fast game and will try and keep the ball alive with quick rucks. Defensively we need to work very hard against them.”

WATCH: The compelling RugbyPass documentary Nadolo explores the life and career of Fijian rugby legend Nemani Nadolo

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