Fiji to be without Nadolo for World Cup warm ups

Fiji will have to warm up for the Rugby World Cup in the Pacific Nations Cup
without winger Nemani Nadolo due to an injury he sustained last week.

Fiji will host Tonga to kick off the on Saturday as the Pacific and North American
teams begin their World Cup warm ups.

In the tournament held across three nations, this weekend’s other opening round
fixtures will be played in San Jose, where Canada face Japan and Samoa meet
the USA. Later matches will be played in Canada.

When they meet their island nation rivals in Suva, Fiji will be without flying
winger Nemani Nadolo and skipper Akapusi Qera who were injured during the narrow
27-26 loss to New Zealand Maori last week.

Nadolo, a key points scorer for Fiji, tore an abdominal muscle and will play
no part in the Pacific Nations Cup.

Fiji coach John McKee said Qera, who has a knee injury, could have played against
Tonga but the decision was made to rest him for Fiji’s second match against
Samoa in California next Friday.

“Our target is to be the fittest team for the Rugby World Cup and we have
got two months to work on that,” McKee said.

Under a new Pacific Nations Cup format, the six teams play three matches each
with the two best-performing sides meeting in the final.

“I’m expecting three very challenging games,” said McKee, whose side
will play the World Cup opener against England on September 18.

“Tonga always have a very strong squad in Rugby World Cup year and there
is a fierce rivalry between the two countries on the rugby field.

“Samoa showed what a strong team they are in their strong performance
against the All Blacks. Japan are the big improvers in the Pacific region with
some very impressive results over the past 12 months,” he added.

The Pacific Nations Cup will give the United States some valuable insight into
two of their World Cup pool rivals — Samoa and Japan.

“The Samoa game will be an interesting one, for sure, with both teams
no doubt testing each other out before the World Cup,” said Saracens-based
USA captain Chris Wyles.

“And the same goes for Japan, who we narrowly lost to in a high-scoring
game (37-29) in last year’s competition. Tonga is always a tough game too,”
he added.

Although the Pacific Nations Cup features second-tier teams, World Rugby chairman
Bernard Lapasset said it “takes on extra significance with Rugby World
Cup 2015 just two months away”.

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