Fiji has named Simon Raiwalui as their new head trainer just over three weeks after Vern Cotter shockingly stepped away from the role. New Zealander Cotter had been hired to take the Pacific Islanders through to the RWC in France where they have pool games later this year against Wales, Australia, Georgia and Portugal national rugby union teams.
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However, he resigns on February 1 for private reasons, stating, I believe we made a great culture which was a witness to some good people working hard and enjoying each other’s company and I’m upset to be leaving at this time. Fiji, though, hasn’t had to delay long to identify their next man up, unveiling Raiwalui, their long-retired second-row player, as the replacement to Cotter.
Raiwalui enjoyed a positive playing career, being capped 43 times by his nation and making three tour entrances for the amalgam Pacific Islands team. He also relished club stints in Europe with Newport, Saracens and Racing before transitioning into training where he was an Australia rugby team assistant under Michael Cheika before becoming the general boss of a high show with the Fiji Rugby Union.
FRU announce Simon Raiwalui trainer for RWC 2023
A statement read Fiji Rugby Union is satisfied to announce Simon Raiwalui as the head coach of the Flying Fijians on our road to the France Rugby World Cup 2023. Raiwalui, who presently is the general manager of high performance, will be in charge of the side for the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup, global Test matches, and the World Cup in France.
Fiji rugby union board deputy chairman-director Daniel Whippy praised Raiwalui on his selection and wished him all the very best for the tough task ahead. Director Whippy said after going through a thorough and strict process and examining the capabilities of the interested applicants, the board made a verdict to hand over the Flying Fijians training responsibility to Raiwalui. Raiwalui is likely to announce his set of assistant trainers and supervisors soon.
Whippy said Raiwalui is no foreigner to Fiji Rugby as presently he has been doing great work being the general manager of high performance. I believe Raiwalui being a coach and former Flying Fijian captain, will be smooth cruising for him and the team, especially with the Rugby World Cup just around the corner. For more about knowing Fiji Rugby World Cup Tickets.
Bai and Seruvakula were involved in Fiji training staff for RWC
Flying Fijians Head Coach Simon Raiwalui today announced his coaching staff that will guide the squad to the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France later this year with former Rooster Chicken Fijiana 15s coach Senirusi Seruvakula and ex-Flying Fijians fly-half Seremaia Bai included. Raiwalui says they needed to work on getting the true balance for the training staff and he believes with the staff that has been declared, they now have what they are eyeing.
He says he is thrilled about the coaching side that has been nominated and he is looking forward to working with them. Other coaching teams that were broadcast today include Glen Jackson who will be the attack and backs coach, Graham Dewes will be the scrums trainer, Brad Harris as the line-out coach and Darryl Gibson as the defence coach. Meanwhile, the Flying Fijians will be playing 5 test games in the lead-up to the RWC.
Three of which are a slice of the Pacific Nations cup. Fiji will take on Tonga on the 22nd of July in Suva, they will then play the Samoa rugby team in Apia on the 29th of July before heading to Tokyo to take on Japan on the 5th of August. They will later take on France on the 19th of August in France and head to Twickenham to play England on the 26th of August for their last test match.
The time has come for Warren Gatland to modify and pick the Wales Rugby World Cup team
With Wales facing the very real scene of the first wooden spoon since 2003, Steffan Thomas measures how Warren Gatland should attitude the Italy test. When Warren Gatland reassumed his place as head coach of Wales following Wayne Pivac’s exit in December, hopes rose rapidly among the Welsh public After all, this was the man who nearly fixed Wales’ matters overnight when he took the helm in 2007 the wake of the tragic Gareth Jenkins era.
Within three months of getting abruptly dumped out of the Rugby World Cup at the pool phase by Fiji, Wales was lifting the Six Nations title at the then Millennium Stadium having furry aside France. Surely Gatland could do it again? Well, it was never going to be that simple. Back in 2008, the basics were much stronger with both Cardiff Blues, as they were then called, and the Ospreys opposing in the upper echelons of European rugby.
With a properly-funded local game doing its job of arranging players for test rugby. The failures of 2007 lay with the training set-up and Gatland inherited a strong team full of top-end test players whose only missing point was confidence and strength in depth. This time around the game is in confusion, with the four regions facing backing cuts and no longer playing at a level which sufficiently prepares players for RWC.
The Ospreys’ new European triumph is very much the exception to the rule
When you consider all the off-field disturbances, particularly the pledged freeze, which only got lifted a matter of days ago, and the risk of strike action in the build-up to the England game then it’s no wonder Wales are on progression for their first Six Nations wooden spoon in 20 years. But Gatland’s biggest test is whether he can reinvent himself as a trainer to suit the players at his disposal.
Debated former England outside half Andy Goode irritated large sections of the Welsh rugby public last week when he quizzed Gatland’s approach. Speaking on media he said, what I will say about Wales, and I feel bad saying this the way they play, the way Gats trains, the game has moved on. You look at the Lions in 2021, how he set up that Lions side to try and play against South Africa, the way Wales are playing, and what he did with the Chiefs in Waikato. Gats has got to advance.
Goode is right when he says what worked an era ago, or even two or three years ago, will not cut it today. During his first spell in charge, Wales, at full strength, had a pack of forwards who could go toe to toe with the best sides in the world. Gatland’s game plan was very much built on winning the crashes, a strong set piece, and controlling the kicking game. For more about knowing Wales Rugby World Cup Tickets.
Wales needs to invest before France Rugby World Cup 2023
While it would be silly to suggest Wales should shirk the physical test, he does not have the personnel to play the argumentative and direct game his sides played between 2008 and 2019. Wales needs to invest in an all-court tactic, one which trusts skill, pace, and tempo and has more than one dimension. The likes of Scotland and even Italy have prolonged their horizons from a planned perspective over the last few years and are now opening to make progress before RWC.
This isn’t going to happen rapidly and might never come to completion but Wales needs to be brave, which might mean going backwards before moving forwards again. Sometimes it involves hitting rock bottom before climbing onto an upward route again, in a similar fashion to what Steve Hansen did with Wales back in 2003. Gatland will be anxious to avoid a wooden spoon and the blades would certainly be out should Wales lose to Italy in Rome.
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