“Flying Fijians Ready to Take on All Blacks in San Diego”

The Fiji Water Flying Fijians squad, showcasing a deep roster, is intensely preparing for their match against the All Blacks next Saturday (July 20) at Snap Dragon Stadium in San Diego, United States.

Head coach Mick Byrne informed SUNsports yesterday that the squad members have no major injuries as they gear up for the clash.

“All the players trained yesterday; there were a few minor niggles, which is expected following the physical game against Georgia last week,” Byrne stated.

“Caleb Muntz is progressing well, although he hasn’t yet joined training. We expect him to be part of the training sessions later this week.”

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

“The development of the Flying Fijians over the past few years, including the addition of the Fijian Drua team, has ushered in a more professional depth compared to the past,” he said.

“The squad’s depth has reached a level where we can focus primarily on our own performance. We need to prepare diligently and ensure robust support for our players as we face very well-resourced teams.”

Byrne emphasized the need for a stronger defensive strategy against the All Blacks.

“We’ll need to limit their ball use, as they’ll challenge us with their fast-paced game,” he noted. “Our preparations over the next two weeks will be tailored accordingly.”

The match is part of New Zealand Rugby’s initiative to promote the All Blacks brand in the United States and elevate the sport’s profile there.

The US is set to host the 2031 and 2033 Rugby World Cups for men and women, respectively. Although these tournaments are several years away, New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson highlighted to Forbes last month that the decision to host consecutive World Cups in the US “has provided a real north star for the sport.”

Feedback: ioane.asioli@fijisun.com.fj

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