Fiji delay naming new Flying Fijians head coach

The Fiji Rugby Union has confirmed there will be a delay in naming a head coach to replace Simon Raiwalui whose time in charge ended after the Rugby World Cup in France.

FRU interim chairman Peter Mazey told SUNsports that a previous announcement planned for this week had been amended as the selection panel further studies the merits of the short list. Previously Fiji High Performance Unit chief Barrie-Jon Mather had said the process would be concluded by this week and the delay comes as local media claimed Flying Fijian players based in Europe are pushing for Franck Boivert, to be considered in the final round of selection.

Boivert, a French national who has been living in Fiji for 27 years, is a former Fiji Rugby coaching director who is now Nadroga Rugby director of coaching. Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne, who guided the side to the Super Rugby Pacific playoffs last season and interim head coach Senirusi Seruvakula were expected to be the two leading names in the hat having reached the second round of interviews last week. New Zealand’s Daryl Gibson and Frans Ludeke of South Africa are two other coaches linked to the process.

Mazey said: “The final decision hasn’t been made as we’re waiting for references (for the candidates) and other information like contract to be looked at. We are hoping to get the information and to go through it. We are not rushing the process to ensure that the right person is selected.

“We were hoping to do it by the end of the week but there won’t be an announcement.”

Support for Boivert has been noted throughout the process with Sailosi Naiteqe Sr, former Naitasiri head coach and Fiji 7s rugby selector, stating: “FRU should give Boivert the position of Flying Fijians head coach. Boivert was involved in rugby in Fiji as coach, development officer, HPU manager, technical adviser from club, provincial and national level.”

Mazey has previously made it clear the successful candidate will be expected to live full time in Fiji and take charge of the entire high performance system in the islands. A number of previous coaches have flown in and out of Fiji for training blocks while living abroad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.