“Flying Fijians Prepare for Intense Showdown”

The Fiji Water Flying Fijians squad is focused on their preparation against the All Blacks at the Snap Dragon stadium in San Diego, United States next Saturday, July 20.

Speaking to SUNsports, head coach Mick Byrne stated that the players are cleared of any major injuries at camp.

“All the players trained 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 expect him to join later in the week.”

Byrne hopes to retain the current squad for the Pacific Nations Cup in August.

“The growth in the Flying Fijians over the last couple of years, with the inclusion of the Fijian Drua team, has created a more professional depth than what was there originally,” he said. “The depth of the squad has improved to the point where we’ll do our work and focus on ourselves.”

“We need to prepare better and get our support around our players as we’re going against some well-resourced teams.”

Byrne mentioned that they will need to be more solid in defense against the All Blacks.

“We’ll need to limit their use of the ball as they’ll challenge us with the speed of the game they want to play,” he remarked. “We’ll prepare accordingly over the next two weeks.”

The match is part of New Zealand Rugby’s strategy to grow the All Blacks brand on American soil and raise the sport’s profile in the US.

The US will host the 2031 and 2033 iterations 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 US “has provided a real north star for the sport.”

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