Matavesi: French victory has us all believing
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.”