Former Ireland Captain Rory Best Lands International Coaching Role

Just the ticket.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and traveling restrictions and challenges, the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) has altered its November tour plan for the Flying Fijians who are set to face Spain, Wales, and Georgia next month in Europe.

FRU Chief Executive Officer John O’Connor said taking into consideration the challenges associated with COVID-19 including travel and quarantine restrictions, Fiji Rugby has decided not to select any Southern Hemisphere-based players.

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They were also not able to guarantee MIQ spots for their NZ-based Coaches, hence none of their coaching panel, including head coach Vern Cotter, and management staff will also be part of the Northern tour.

Instead, Olympic Gold medal-winning and outgoing Fijian 7s Coach, Gareth Baber, has been given the responsibility to lead the pack as Head Coach, former Scottish and current Edinburgh attack coach Duncan Hodge will be in charge of the backs, High-Performance Skills Coach of the Seattle Seawolves and former Irish hooker Rory Best will look after the forwards and former Springboks and Scotland Coach, Richie Gray, will oversee the ruck and contact area.

“We could have made arrangements for management and players to travel to for the Northern tour but we were not able to guarantee their return with the unavailability of MIQ spots in Australia and New Zealand,” O’Connor said.

“We could not take the risk of players and staff being stuck in the Northern Hemisphere in 2022 as such we made the decision not to use anyone from the Southern Hemisphere for the tour.”