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Fijians set for Tonga, Samoa

Jale Vatubua (center) trains with the Flying Fijians this afternoon at the Bidesi grounds (photo:supplied/Fiji Village)

SUVA, Fiji-June 26: 3:26pm(Fiji Times): Flying Fijians captain Akapusi Qera says they will be expecting a bruising physical encounter when they take on the Ikale Tahi Tonga and Manu Samoa during the World Cup qualifiers next month.

“We know playing against Samoa and Tonga will be a physical match up front, we are expecting that and we are used to that,” Qera said.

He said at the moment they would go and celebrate their 27-22 victory over Scotland with their families before they begin their preparation for the World Cup qualifiers this week.

“But bear in mind there are the two important games in this June-July window. And the boys will come back next week and prepare. We know what’s at hand and what is needed by the team. At the moment we are just trying to build a winning environment.”

He said they were working towards establishing a winning culture as well for the 15s code.

“We know the challenge that is ahead of us and we are looking forward to the challenge.

Meanwhile, following Flying Fijian’s win against Scotland, Coach John McKee has confirmed that they would be considering Asaeli Tikoirotuma’s services for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Tikoirotuma joined the squad last week, and was seen running with the team during their training sessions.

McKee had earlier indicated during an interview that they would be using the former Chiefs winger in the centres.

“Certainly Tikoirotuma will be considered for the World Cup qualifiers. Unfortunately he was suspended in the second to last game in the UK.

“So he has been unavailable for selection but he joined the squad in training earlier this week.

“And will certainly be in consideration to travel with us to the Pacific Nations Cup,” McKee said.

McKee had earlier indicated that he would be selecting his best squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers against their Pacific nations rivals the Ikale Tahi Tonga and the Manu Samoa.

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