Fiji Water Flying Fijians Squad Gears Up for Clash with All Blacks

The Fiji Water Flying Fijians squad, enriched with a deep pool of players, is gearing up for their upcoming match against the All Blacks at Snap Dragon Stadium in San Diego, United States, next Saturday (July 20).

Head coach Mick Byrne, in a conversation with SUNsports yesterday, confirmed that all players are free from any major injuries in the camp. “All the players trained yesterday (Monday). There were a few little niggles, which is expected from a physical game against Georgia last week,” Byrne said. “Caleb Muntz is running well but hasn’t joined training yet; we’re expecting him to join later in the week.”

Byrne plans to retain the current squad for the Pacific Nations Cup in August. He noted the significant growth in the Flying Fijians over the past few years, largely due to the inclusion of the Fijian Drua team, which has enhanced the overall professionalism and depth of the squad. “The depth of the squad has improved to the point where we’ll do our work and focus on ourselves,” he said. “We need to prepare better and get our support around our players as we go against some well-resourced teams.”

Emphasizing the need for a stronger defense against the All Blacks, Byrne stressed, “We’ll need to limit their use of the ball, and they’ll challenge us with the speed of the game they want to play. We’ll prepare accordingly over the next two weeks.”

The match is part of New Zealand Rugby’s strategy to expand the All Blacks brand in the United States and boost the sport’s popularity in the country. The U.S. is set to host the 2031 and 2033 editions of the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups. New Zealand Rugby chief executive officer Mark Robinson told Forbes last month that the decision to host back-to-back World Cups in the U.S. “has provided a real north star for the sport.”

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