6 Nov 2015

Sport: Fiji sees U20s as start of 2019 RWC preparations

12:28 pm on 6 November 2015

The Fiji Rugby Chief Executive says the hosting of this month's U20 Oceania world trophy qualifiers marks the start of preparations for Rugby World Cup 2019.

Fiji taking on Portugal in their opening match at the World Rugby Junior Trophy.

Fiji in the last World Trophy tournament vs Portugal. Photo: World Rugby

Fiji will host Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Tonga at the Oceania Championship with all four nations playing for a place in next year's World Trophy tournament in Zimbabwe.

Radrodro Tabualevu says the tournament marks the beginning of an exciting time for Fiji Rugby.

"We have pitched for the competition to be here because it marks the beginning of our preparation towards the next world cup. We are starting to invest time and effort into our young ones so that come 2019 some of the boys who are in this squad will make it into the Flying Fijians."

Tabualevu has also given the current coach John Mckee his early backing after the coach expressed an interest to stay on in the role through to the Rugby World Cup despite his contract ending in 2017.

"He still is very much an integral part of our build-up. We were very happy with his performance. He was able to achieve what he showcased in the world cup in under 18 months. That speaks to the capability of Mr McKee. We are confident he will start to chart and drive forward things towards 2019."

Fiji rugby coach John McKee.

Fiji rugby coach John McKee. Photo: Supplied / England Rugby 2015