Fijians at full strength

Fiji look set to be at full strength full for this year's World Cup after the South Sea Islanders received a European boost. [more]

Fijians at full strength

Fiji look set to be at full strength full for this year’s World Cup after the South Sea Islanders received a European boost.

Traditionally, the Fijian Rugby Union has struggled to persuade all its very best talent to appear for the country on a regular basis due to club commitments.

But worries over player availability for the game’s greatest tournament this autumn seem to have been allayed.

Fiji assistant coach Shannon Fraser met with players at 16 clubs in Britain, Ireland and France during a recent trip to Europe and returned home with good news.

All players spoken to had "expressed genuine interest in being considered and have communicated their availability," said Shannon.

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That means the likes of Scarlets prop and Fiji skipper Deacon Manu, Leinster full back Isa Nacewa, Toulouse wing Vilimoni Delasau and Castres centre Seremaia Bai should all feature in four and a half months time.

The attitude of Fiji’s big names has impressed FRU High Performance Unit manager Talemo Waqa after it was left to individuals to clarify their intentions and resolve any contractual difficulties with their clubs.

"While many people will love to see Nacewa and other top players released for national duties, the onus was with the players to sort it out with their respective clubs and see what's best for them," explained Waqa.

Fiji have been drawn alongside World Champions South Africa and Warren Gatland’s Wales, as well as Samoa and Namibia, in Pool D.

The Fijians open their campaign against the Namibian minnows on September 10 before facing the Springboks and Samoans prior to a mouth-watering rematch with Wales in Hamilton on October 2.

Fiji stunned Wales to knock them out of the last World Cup in France, while the spoils were shared the last time the two sides met at the Millennium Stadium in November.

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