Fiji name former flanker as new coach

The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) have named former Fiji number eight Inoke Male as head coach of the Flying Fijians on a four year deal that is expected to see him guide the Fiji national side to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Hailing from Raralevu Village in Tailevu, Male began his career with the Raralevu Rugby Club in 1985 before joining the Navy in 1989 where he represented the Navy Rugby Club in Suva through until 2001.

The former naval officer was a relatively late starter to international rugby winning his first Cap against Australia in 1998 at the relatively mature age of 35.

Male went on to play 22 times for Fiji claiming a total of 15 Caps and also represented Fiji at the 1999 RWC where the Brad Johnstone coached side bowed out to England in the quarter-final play-offs.

As a coach Male is currently the head coach of Vatukoula Rugby Union a side he guided out of the B Division ranks last season and into the Major Division after winning the promotion-relegation play-off against Navosa last September.

Male has also previously coached the Navy Rugby Club; the Tailevu Rugby Union – whom he guided to Farebrother-Sullivan Cup glory; the Fiji Warriors and was assistant coach of the Flying Fijians from 2009-10.

As head coach of Fiji’s Junior World Cup team in 2011 he guided the Junior Fijians to the top six in the world after a memorable victory against Wales in Italy. It was Fiji’s best ever finish in the tournament’s four year history.

Male replaces Sam Domoni whose two year tenure at the helm of the Flying Fijians ended in disappointment after the Flying Fijians failed to qualify for the quarter-finals of RWC 2011 in New Zealand.

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