10 Jul 2015

Sport: Flying Fijians expect bruising encounter with Maori ABs

9:35 am on 10 July 2015

The Fiji rugby coach, John McKee, says he is expecting an exciting, end-to-end encounter with the Maori All Blacks tomorrow.

After that one-off in Suva, the Flying Fijians take on Tonga, Samoa and Japan in pool play of the Pacific Nations Cup.

World rankings apply to all the games, and John McKee says he would like to see his 11th ranked team cement its place in the top 10.

Flying Fijians rugby coach John McKee

Flying Fijians rugby coach John McKee. Photo: Supplied

He is expecting a bruising encounter this weekend.

"To me I think it's going to be a very exciting game because both teams are going to go in with that attitude of playing. Our defensive structures are going to have to be very strong because they'll be very dangerous on the counter-attack. We can win good ball and put them under some pressure I think our big running players you know winning the game line, I think it's going to make a very interesting game."

McKee says he is looking for some of his younger fringe players to stand out during the team's packed upcoming schedule.

Among the new selections is the former Waratahs backline utility Ben Volavola, who McKee says has terrific potential.

"It's interesting, we've actually got quite an experienced squad but there are some young players coming through, it'll be interesting to see how they develop in this environment. Players like Volavola, he'll be debuting for us and as a five eight, as a number 10, I mean it's a critical position for us so you know I'll be hoping he can really step up in that area."

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