McKee looks to NZ-based players

Flying Fijians Head Coach John McKee at the Nadi International Airport. Picture: REINAL CHAND/FT FILE

FIJI Airways Flying Fijians head coach John McKee will be looking to rope in players from the New Zealand Mitre 10 Cup competition for the Killik Cup match against the Barbarians next month.

This is to fill in the vacuum created by the unavailability of the professional players who are based in Europe.

The match does not fall in the World Rugby international release window hence many of the overseas players will not be available because of club commitments.

The last time the two teams met, in November 2016, the Barbarians defeated Fiji 40-7 at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.

In 2013 the Barbarians downed Fiji 43-19.

McKee said he would be meeting with Fijian Drua coach Senirusi Seruvakula to decide on the make-up of the squad.

“The first thing on the agenda is the Barbarians game,” he said.

“I will be meeting which the Fijian Drua coach to look at the squad that we can get.

“There will be some players from the Flying Fijians squad in the team. The professional players will not be available because it is not in the release window.

“So the team will be a blend of some of the Flying Fijian players and some of the best local players.

“We will also be looking at some players from New Zealand coming out of the Mitre 10 Cup competition.”

Fiji will play the Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium in England on November 16.

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