Seremaia Bai’s Last Kick
Seasoned goalkicking ace to boost our 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign
Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee said yesterday Bai plays a crucial role in our mission to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The 2016 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup is expected be the last time for veteran utility back Seremaia Bai to don the national jumper before hanging his boots at the end of the year. Bai, 37, announced his pending retirement in March. For the past 10 years, he has spent time playing for elite European clubs like Clermont, Castres and now Leicester Tigers. Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee said yesterday Bai plays a crucial role in our mission to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. The June Test matches against Samoa and Tonga is the first qualifying round with the second scheduled for next year. The first two teams qualify while the bottom-placed side will have to go through the repechage. “I respect Bai as a rugby player and as a man,” McKee said.
“I see this opportunity for Bai to represent Fiji one more time as a fitting end to what has been a great career- both a Flying Fijian in international competition and as a professional rugby player in at the highest level of competition in France and England.” McKee also confirmed the first group of players would march into camp on June 1 along with the standby players from the Telecom Fijian Warriors squad. The full squad will assemble on June 6 in preparation for the first Test against Tonga on June 11 at the ANZ Stadium, Suva.
He pointed out the focus is to build on their game from last year. “In international rugby you cannot stay at the same level if you want to compete with the best, you must continue to strive to improve and develop your game plans and execution. “We have made some great progress in our game style over the past two years but need to get better and to be consistent top contenders at International Level. “We will continue to work on our set play and our work around the ruck area to ensure we can win clean and quick balls. We will introduce a few new things to our attack to increase our effectiveness in this area of the game.” McKee also said they would work on their defence area. “Our defensive system has been functioning quite well but we need to be more effective in making one-on-one tackles,” he added.
McKee has also confirmed his management team has been finalised and will be announced next week.