- Title: Fiji feel at home in waves as they recover from Australia heartache
- Date: 24th September 2019
- Summary: KAMAISHI, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 24, 2019) (REUTERS) FIJI HEAD COACH JOHN MCKEE AND CAPTAIN DOMINIKO WAGANIBUROTU ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE MCKEE / WAGANIBUROTU NEWS CONFERENCE STARTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIJI HEAD COACH, JOHN MCKEE, SAYING: "We planned for this short turnaround and from the time of the Rugby World Cup we always knew that we would have to address certain things across this time. One of the things we did do upon arriving at our hotel was to use the ocean here for ocean recovery. It was something a little bit different but it was very good for our players to swim in the sea water, but also it was very relaxing for them and it got their minds relaxed as well. Because it isn't just the physical tiredness, it is the mental tiredness from the big match in Sapporo." NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY (SOUNDBITE) (English FIJI CAPTAIN, DOMINIKO WAGANIBUROTU, SAYING: "(The hotel) is quite a good location and is accessible to the beach. The boys use it a lot, going down and having a swim. It is quiet and isolated from everything, just the way we like it. The food is just another level. We love it here." NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIJI HEAD COACH, JOHN MCKEE, TALKING ABOUT INCIDENT INVOLVING AUSTRALIAN WINGER REECE HODGE, SAYING: "From our perspective, we lost a player who was nearly the most influential player on the park at that point in the game, for the rest of the game. Because of a head injury he can't play in this game either. He is still in the return to play protocols. So, we have already lost out and it is the judicial process that will decide whether it is a legal tackle or a head injury contact." NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIJI HEAD COACH, JOHN MCKEE, TALKING ABOUT URUGUAY, SAYING: "Although we had a good win (against them) in November, we know Uruguay are a much improved team now in the World Cup and we expect them to be a bit more physical as they have had a lot more training together. We expect them, typical of Uruguayan and South American teams, to use their forward pack as a strength and we will have to be very on top of our game in terms of scrums and particularly around our maul defence. We are very wary of the threats they can bring to the game in those areas and we will have to be on top of our game to defend that." FIJI AND URUGUAY FLAGS AT KAMAISHI STADIUM GOALPOSTS VARIOUS OF URUGUAY TEAM WARMING UP HEAD COACH ESTEBAN MENESES SPEAKING TO OTHER COACHES CAPTAIN JUAN MANUEL GAMINARA TRAINING VARIOUS OF PLAYERS STRETCHING MENESES LOOKING ON URUGUAY NEWS CONFERENCE UNDERWAY (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) URUGUAYAN FORWARDS COACH, OSCAR DURAN, SAYING: (OFFICIAL TRANSLATION) "For us it is going to be a totally different experience to previous World Cups because of the location and the way we are experiencing it is different. My advice to the players is that I want them to enjoy it. This is a very, very special match for us and this experience in the future will be invaluable and we will be able to compete more in the future. This time we want them to focus but also enjoy the matches. Do their best but also enjoy it, on and off the pitch." VARIOUS OF URUGUAY TRAINING
- Embargoed: 8th October 2019 10:55
- Keywords: Rugby World Cup Fiji Uruguay McKee Duran
- Location: KAMAISHI, JAPAN
- City: KAMAISHI, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Rugby Union,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001AY0MERJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Fiji coach John McKee has encouraged his players to unwind at the beach to recover from their controversial loss to Australia before they face Uruguay in their next World Cup Pool D match in Kamaishi on Wednesday (September 25).
Fijian players are used to throwing a rugby ball around on the beach and frolicking in the waves growing up on their island nation and with just a four-day turnaround before facing Uruguay, McKee believes it could be the best therapy.
Fiji had looked on course for one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history on Saturday as they held a nine-point second half lead against Australia before the Wallabies tightened up to win 39-21.
The result could have been different, however, had Wallabies winger Reece Hodge, who went on to score a try, been red-carded for a no-arms tackle on Fiji's influential flanker Peceli Yato.
Yato missed the rest of the match with concussion and Hodge has since been cited by World Rugby over the tackle.
"From our perspective, we lost a player who was nearly the most influential player on the park at that point in the game, for the rest of the game," said McKee.
"Because of a head injury he can't play in this game either. He is still in the return to play protocols."
"So, we have already lost out."
Uruguay, ranked 19th in the world and playing in their first match of the tournament, could be just the tonic for Fiji, who beat Los Tecos 68-7 last year.
However, McKee knows his opponent will be more prepared this time around.
For their part, Uruguay are here to enjoy themselves.
Uruguay, ranked 19th in the world and in their fourth World Cup, have one of the youngest teams at the tournament, with an average age of less than 26.
Seven players in the 31-man squad have less than 10 caps.
Uruguayan forwards coach Oscar Duran wants his players to enjoy the World Cup environment and to gain experience at this level to develop the young side and build towards future tournaments.
(Production: Jack Tarrant)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None