24 Jun 2017

Sport: Fiji expect high-tempo challenge from improvers of world rugby

9:46 am on 24 June 2017

Fiji rugby coach John McKee says Scotland are one of the big improvers in the international game and is predicting a high-tempo affair when the teams go head to head in Suva this afternoon.

Scotland are riding high after a stunning 24-19 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney and could climb as high as fourth in the world rankings depending on today's result.

Fiji also have some momentum, after Ben Volavola slotted a drop goal in added time to steal a 22-19 victory against Italy last week.

The Flying Fijians perform the Cibi before a test against Japan in November.

The Flying Fijians are targeting back to back test wins. Photo: AFP

John McKee was pleased with how his players fought right to the end and thinks Scotland will provide another challenge altogether.

"We knew they'd come with a strong set-play at scrum and lineout and probably they put us under quite a bit of pressure in that area which restricted our ball delivery, we found it a little harder to get our attack flowing," Mckee said.

"It was also a very stop-start game, which didn't really suit us...but looking at the way Scotland play (it's) much more of a continuity game.

"That type of game actually helps us get into our rhythm as well so we expect Scotland (to be) another tough opposition this week but quite a different team to Italy," he said.

Fiji rugby coach John McKee.

Fiji rugby coach John McKee. Photo: AFP

Scotland are on a three-match winning run, having beaten the Italians in both March and June.

They also chalked up impressive Six Nations victories against Ireland and Wales which has impressed McKee.

"The Scottish to me are one of the really improving sides and (former coach) Vern Cotter brought a lot of change there and also (his successor) you see Gregor Townsend now is quite an attacking coach and you can see his stamp on the team already, so they've really been one of the big improvers I think around that top group of nations in the last three to four years."

The Flying Fijians coach maintained the most important goal in this test window remains securing qualification for the 2019 Rugby World Cup but he said the tests against Australia, Italy and Scotland would be an excellent build up to next month's matches against Tonga and Samoa.

"We want to be seen as an even competitor with these top teams and we've still got a lot of work to do but I really believe that we've got the talented athletes to compete with anyone in world rugby and every time we go out we're striving for those wins."

Scotland prevailed 37-25 when they played in Fiji back in 2012.

Scotland prevailed 37-25 when they played in Fiji back in 2012. Photo: PHOTOSPORT