Fiji hopeful of hosting four tests in 2008

Fiji is still hopeful of hosting four international Tests next year as the national team starts its build up for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Invitations have been sent out to Ireland, South Africa, France, Canada and Argentina and at this point only Ireland have turned down the offer.

FRU chief executive Ratu Timoci Tavanavanua confirmed yesterday to the Fiji Times that they had written to the five unions.

“Ireland is the only country which has said it won’t be coming,” Tavanavanua said.”Apart from that we are still waiting for response from the other teams and we are hopeful of getting a favorable reply.

“Peter Murphy will be holding talks with officials in Canada when he is there next month.”

Fiji have set themselves the goal of reaching the last four in the 2011 Rugby World cup in New Zealand and they feel these tests will be a good start in that direction.

Another area that is a little unsettled is the position of coach as Ilivasi Tabua will learn his fate before the end of the year, when his contract ends with the FRU.

Tavanavanua said while he had made his recommendation, the board will have the final say.

“The board will meet and definitely make a decision before the end of the year,” Tavanavanua said to Fiji Times.

“We have spoken and I am confident that Ilivasi will be given the nod, but the official word will come from the board.”

The Fiji Rugby Union have also set themselves the target of the under-20 World Cup to be held in Wales. Fiji are in a Pool for that tournament with Australia, England and Canada.

The junior Flying Fijians coached by Rayne Simpson are confident of a good outing.

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