11 Jun 2016

Sport: Fiji will step up defence against Tonga

12:11 pm on 11 June 2016

The Fiji rugby coach John McKee says he believes his side will have to be defensively astute to defeat a rebuilding Tongan side.

The two sides kick off the Pacific Nations Cup as well as world 2019 cup qualifying when they meet this afternoon in Suva.

Fiji go into the match as firm favourites with Tonga's completely new coaching team including 10 uncapped players within their matchday 23.

However McKee says the home team will have to be cautious against a side which has changed its style in recent times.

"We did notice in the rugby world cup they were starting to play a more expansive game."

"Our contests in the last couple of seasons they [Tonga] have played very direct and used their all power to try and overcome us. This time we've expect a more expansive game and I think they [Tonga] will really try to shift the ball out to the widths of the field and build opportunity that way, and our defence is going to have to be top notch."