Matavesi: French vic­tory has us all be­liev­ing

The Rugby Paper - - National League 1 - By NEALE HAR­VEY

WATCH out Wales, Fiji are com­ing to get you! That’s the warn­ing from hooker Sam Matavesi af­ter the freshly re-signed Cor­nish Pi­rates hooker starred in the is­lan­ders’ stun­ning 2114 vic­tory over France.

John McKee’s side are pit­ted in a World Cup Pool with Wales, Aus­tralia, Ge­or­gia and Uruguay and Matavesi, who con­verted to hooker from flanker only a year ago af­ter join­ing Pi­rates from Re­druth, says Fiji have the weaponry to ruin the Welsh party.

He said: “Beat­ing France has given Fiji a huge boost ahead of the World Cup and we be­lieve we can do some dam­age.

“We lost heav­ily in Scot­land but be­fore that game we’d only had three days to­gether. By the time we played France we’d beaten Uruguay and had a fort­night to get our for­ma­tions right and work out the best way to play.

“No­body gave us a chance in Paris but we have qual­ity play­ers. Guys like Semi Radrada, Leone Nakarawa and Pe­celi Yato are world-class and we’ve got a set of for­wards who can now com­pete with the top sides.

“We’ll have three months to pre­pare for the World Cup with six to eight matches, in­clud­ing the Pa­cific Na­tions Cup, which is mas­sive for us. We’ve got some amaz­ing tal­ent so why should we fear play­ing Wales or Aus­tralia?”

Af­ter 80 min­utes against the French, Matavesi cel­e­brated last week by re­turn­ing to his na­tive Corn­wall and sign­ing a twoyear ex­ten­sion at Pi­rates.

He ex­plained: “There was solid in­ter­est from the Premier­ship but Pi­rates is a good club. I’m happy there and for my progress I need to be play­ing week-in, week-out.

“This time last year I’d just joined from Re­druth and in my first match against Jersey I was hauled off af­ter miss­ing seven li­ne­outs. But Alan Paver and the coaches worked hard with me and I’ve got this World Cup chance.

“At 26, I’m still learn­ing so stay­ing was the best op­tion. I’d love to play Premier­ship, but I’m a Cor­nish­man and the dream is to do it at Pi­rates.”

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