Rugby league players up preparation for Pacific Games

Captains of the rugby leage sides that will be part of the Fiji National Rugby League 2019 Vodafone Cup competition during the season launch in Suva last week. Picture: JONA KONATACI

TEAM Fiji rugby league 9s team coaching staff will be concentrating on mental preparation of athletes as they prepare for the 2019 Pacific Games.

Men’s section manager Tevita Korosaya said they hoped to have the final team of 20 players confirmed at month end.

“The athletes are making it hard for us because their fitness level has been really impressive,” Korosaya said.

“What is really impressive for us has been their mental strength, especially after each gruelling physical training session. The players are still able to dig deep and continue to do whatever the coaches require of them.”

Tevita said their athletes had shown impressive mental fortitude in their training sessions and this had helped them as a team before, during and after training sessions.

“The coach usually takes them through some really tough physical sessions and when these sessions finish, he has them doing ball work.

“It is amazing to see that despite being physically tired, these players will not drop a ball or lag behind because the coaching staff is also working on their mental game and challenging them as individuals.

“We have had some challenges with some athletes who were not up to par with the expectation of the coach. We have had to let some of these athletes go.

“Right now everyone on Team Fiji wants to win gold medals and we are no different.

“We believe in our preparation which began last year because we prepare to win and that is the mindset we would like to take with us to the games.”

Meanwhile, Fiji Bati coach Brandon Costin has been impressed with the setup and preparation undertaken by 9s coach Vula Dakuitoga. Korosaya said the players would be released to take part in the Vodafone Cup competition for an opportunity to impress the national coach.

“We are hopeful that the core of this team will be part of the team that will participate in the New South Wales Cup at the end of the year.”

Korosaya said Costin would also look at players before the Pacific Tri-Nations Tests against Papua New Guinea and Tonga before the 2019 Pacific Games.

Team Fiji rugby league did not win a medal at the last Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea where it finished fourth.

More Stories