Fiji 15s coach interested in Sotutu, Hodgman, Sowakula, Bower and Mataele for 8 nations tournament

Fiji 15s coach interested in Sotutu, Hodgman, Sowakula, Bower and Mataele for 8 nations tournament

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 30/07/2020
Flying Fijians Coach Vern Cotter and Blues number 8.

Flying Fijians Coach, Vern Cotter is keen to lure several Super Rugby prospects and has assembled a quality New Zealand-led coaching team as he prepares to guide Fiji in a potentially daunting 8 nations tournament later this year.

The former Crusaders assistant has been impressed by several Fiji-eligible prospects including Blues No 8 Hoskins Sotutu, loose head prop Alex Hodgman, who played under 20s for New Zealand and Fiji, Chiefs No 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, Crusaders prop George Bower and wing Manasa Mataele, who is yet to return from injury.


Alex Hodgman Pita Gus Sowakula, Manasa Mataele and Crusaders prop George Bower [image:]

Cotter has told the NZ Herald that the guy Fiji would love to get is Hoskins Sotutu, but he thinks All Blacks Coach, Ian Foster has probably got his eye on him.

Cotter says if Fozzie doesn't pick Hoskins Sotutu, he is welcome to come and play for Fiji.

Confirmation of Cotter's interest in Sotutu is the latest twist in a tale which, in recent weeks, involved England attempting to swoop after the in-form loose forward revealed his diverse eligibility.

Sotutu has since committed his future to the Blues for at least the next two years, however, and All Blacks coach Foster is expected to select the 22-year-old in his first squad this season, provided he recovers from the knee injury that has sidelined him for the past two weeks.

Multiple nations are after Hoskins Sotutu.

Since accepting the Fijian job in January, Cotter has recruited highly-regarded Crusaders forwards coach Jason Ryan, former Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson, Glen Jackson, who retired from refereeing last year, and Richie Gray to his coaching team.

Gibson will lead Fiji's backline and attack; Ryan the forward pack, Jackson skills and kicking while Gray, who worked with the Springboks from 2014-16 and Cotter at Scotland and Montpellier, will oversee the contact area.

Following the Pacific Nations Cup in October, Fiji is expected to compete alongside Japan against the traditional Six Nations powers from November 17th to December 5th, with teams to be split into two pools of four.

The eight-team tournament will this year replace the traditional northern-hosted November tours, with the Sanzaar nations instead hoping to stage the Rugby Championship in New Zealand during this window.

Cotter says the concept itself is fascinating and would be really good for Fiji rugby considering there's probably 35 professional rugby players in Europe at the moment you could call on to play for Fiji.

He says he just wonders how Fiji got into the pool with England, Wales and Ireland.

Cotter says Japan, Italy and Scotland are all ranked lower in World Rugby rankings than the teams in ours.

He also says coming up against England at Twickenham in the first game you've got to be at the top of your game or you're going to be on the end of a fairly large score.

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Health Ministry continues to trace, screen and test all contacts of current COVID-19 cases in Fiji
Contact tracing continues for most parts of Suva. Mon 19th Apr Tue 20th Apr Wed 21st Apr Thu 22nd Apr Sat 24th Apr Sun 25th ...
50 minutes ago

COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Fiji
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says he is getting vaccinated because it is what we all must do to defeat this pandemic once and for ...
2 days ago

Lami residents raise concerns on clinker ship that is emitting dust
Lami residents raise concerns about the dust being emitted by two cement manufacturing companies during their operations and when they transport ...
9 days ago
We are at the escalating phase of the COVID-19 cases in the Central Division and Nausori – Dr Fong
Permanent Secretary for Health, Doctor James Fong says we are at the escalating phase of COVID-19 cases in the Central Division and Nausori. While ...
14 hours ago
New Zealand sends more Personal Protective Equipment to Fiji
A second consignment of personal protective equipment and medical supplies has arrived from New Zealand to support Fiji’s COVID-19 containment ...
13 hours ago

LTA CEO to leave 6 months earlier than the date that his contract officially ends
The Land Transport Authority CEO, Samuel Simpson will be leaving 6 months earlier than the date that his contract officially ends. LTA Board ...
14 hours ago

Nausori Market to be closed today for decontamination
Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar says the Nausori Market will be closed today. Kumar says this will be for decontamination purposes ...
14 hours ago

Qauia resident praying for the situation to get better so that he can return to work
A Qauia Settlement resident is praying for the situation to get better due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in their area so that he ...
14 hours ago

Health Ministry’s Official COVID-19 Dashboard confirms 180 new cases and 2 unfortunate deaths in the last 24 hours
The new COVID-19 cases continue to rise according to the Ministry of Health’s official COVID-19 Dashboard as 180 cases have been added to the list ...
15 hours ago