Fiji rugby

Ex-England rugby forward eyes switch to Fiji

Under the new World Rugby rules, Hughes can wear the Fijian jersey.

But Fiji Rugby Union chief executive John O'Connor said the final decision is with Flying Fijians' coach Vern Cotter.

Following a dismal 2021 international season, Cotter could have an influx of new players heading into the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Hughes joins several other players vying for a spot in Cotter's side including former All Blacks Seta Tamanivalu and Waisake Naholo, and Wallaby Tevita Kuridrani.

The Tier 1 side Fiji should have beat and the England star Cotter may want

Cotter and the rest of the Fijian coaching group were unable to travel to Europe due to the pandemic for the win over Spain 43-13 , the 38-23 loss to Wales and 15-15 draw with Georgia with Gareth Baber, the former sevens gold medal winning coach taking charge of a European based squad for the matches.

According to Cotter the main challenge heading into 2022 – a year before the Rugby World Cup in France- is to “ develop new habits that will give us more opportunities to be competitive at the top level.”

Fiji's Eroni Sau suspended for five weeks

The former sevens star was sent off in the 25th minute in Cardiff for a dangerous tackle on Johnny Williams.

The Flying Fijians were leading 13-7 at the time but also conceded two yellow cards and eventually lost the match 38-23.

Sau appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link and accepted he made direct contact to the head of his opponent but denied that he had commited an act of foul play, arguing his red card was not justified.

'My sights are firmly set on helping Fiji' - Gareth Baber makes a Cardiff return

Welsh born Baber represented his country at 7s and was the assistant coach of the Wales under-20 side before opting for the shortened version of the game which saw him take over from Ben Ryan as Fiji head coach following the gold medal triumph in Rio in 2016.

Flying Fijians make injury enforced changes to tour squad

Star midfielder Levani Botia, who captained Fiji against the All Blacks in July, will undergo a knee operation this month and has been replaced by Apisai Naqalevu.

Hooker Peni Narisia has been replaced by Zuriel Togiatama after suffering a calf injury, while veteran lock Api Ratuniyarawa has been called in to replace flanker Peceli Yato, who injured his knee playing for Clermont at the weekend.

Biarritz back-rower Johnny Dyer has also pulled out of the tour for personal reasons and the coaching staff is still weighing up whether to call in another player.

The man who makes Fijians fly

Naca Cawanibuka has spent the best part of 15 years fine-tuning the country's top rugby talent into world class athletes.

As head of Fiji Rugby's strength and conditioning programme, he's attended two Rugby World Cups, played a key role in four World Sevens Series titles, and was instrumental in Fiji winning back to back Olympic gold medals.

Now he's taking on a new challenges as Head of Athletic Performance for the country's first ever Super Rugby team, the Fijian Drua.

A former Fiji 7s international himself, Cawanibuka said fitness was king.

Fiji, Samoa 7s to miss start of the World Series

The new season kicks off in Vancouver on September 18, with another tournament in Edmonton the following weekend.

But Fiji's Olympic gold medal winning team and Pacific neighbours Samoa have joined New Zealand, Australia and Argentina in opting to skip the Canadian wing because of the ongoing effects of Covid-19.

Fiji's players went more than four months without seeing their friends and families in order to achieve their Olympic dream in Japan.

Fijian star to shun lucrative overseas contract offers

The 23-year-old told Fiji Times he received many overseas offers after the gold medal win in Tokyo but wanted to continue to play for his country and is in the final year Bachelor of Science in Fisheries student at the FNU’s College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (CAFF).

Masi said: “I plan to further my studies and continue to play for Fiji. Right now I can’t wait to go back home to Taveuni and see my parents. I cannot stop thinking about them as it breaks my heart being away from them. I can’t wait for the borders to be open.”

Fiji 7s coach undecided on future following gold medal win

The Welshman guided Fiji to it's second Olympic gold medal in Tokyo on Wednesday, defending the title they won in Rio.

He took charge of the team at the start of 2017 and has led Fiji to one World Series title, a Commonwealth Games silver medal and now Olympic gold.

Baber's contract is up at the end of year but he said nothing had been decided yet.

"I've had my contract extended until the end of December so I am still under contract at Fiji Rugby at the moment...I'll take some time and have a think as well", he said.

Savea and Lienert-Brown back for All Blacks, Mo'unga starts at first-five

Coach Ian Foster has made nine changes to the starting XV from the first test win over Fiji.

The loose forwards have been swapped out with Ardie Savea returning from injury to start at openside, with Akira Ioane at blindside and Luke Jacobson at No.8, replacing Ethan Blackadder, Shannon Frizell and Hoskins Sotutu.

Anton Lienert-Brown is back in the midfield after overcoming injury and he'll start at centre outside second-five David Havili, pushing Rieko Ioane to the reserves.

It will be the 50th test match for both Savea and Lienert-Brown.