John McKee Fiji coach wants 'fire and ice' against England rugby

The Pacific Islanders will kick-off at Twickenham on Saturday having lost all six of their previous Tests.

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Fiji's head rugby coach John McKee, seen in 2015, said, ?It doesn?t get bigger than playing England at Twickenham in 2016" play

Fiji's head rugby coach John McKee, seen in 2015, said, ?It doesn?t get bigger than playing England at Twickenham in 2016"

(AFP/File)
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Fiji coach John McKee believes a combination of "fire in the belly and ice in the mind" can help his side gain a maiden full international win over England.

The Pacific Islanders will kick-off at Twickenham on Saturday having lost all six of their previous Tests in the 15-a-side code against England, currently second in the world rankings.

"It doesn't get bigger than playing England at Twickenham in 2016," said McKee.

"It is in games like this that Fiji can really make their mark on the world stage."

The New Zealander added: "The team will have to be at their absolute best and very disciplined over the 80 minutes to succeed.

"The team has prepared well, the performance is in their hands, and they will go onto the field against England with fire in their bellies and ice in their minds."

Last week saw Fiji well-beaten 40-7 by the invitational Barbarians in Belfast.

But Fiji, the inaugural Olympic Rugby Sevens champions at this year's Games in Rio, have selected a far more experienced side to face England.

Montpellier's Akapusi Qera skippers a team boasting several players from France's Top 14, England's Premiership and the Celtic League.

Former Gloucester loose forward Qera is joined in Fiji's back-row by Clermont's Peceli Yato and Brive's Dominiko Waqaniburotu.

Two French-based players in Racing 92's Leone Nakarawa and Agen's Api Ratuniyawara will lock the scrum, with Campese Ma'afu, Sunia Koto and Manasa Saulo in the front row.

In the backs, the giant Nemani Nadolo is on one wing and Benito Masilevu on the other, with Bordeaux-Begles's Metui Talebula at fullback.

"There has been a real focus and intensity in training this week as we have prepared for the England match," said McKee.

"For the team it has been about understanding and clarity around the game plan and executing under pressure.

"I have seen that happening each day and that gives us confidence that we can impose our game on Saturday."

"This team gives us the balance of being strong on the set play at scrum and line-out, as well as exiting our defensive zone, along with having the mobility to play our attacking game."

Fiji (15-1)

Metui Talebula; Benito Masilevu, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Albert Vulivuli, Nemani Nadolo; Josh Matavesi, Seru Vularika; Akapusi Qera (capt), Peceli Yato, Dominiko Waqaniburotu; Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyawara; Manasa Saulo, Sunia Koto, Campese Ma'afu

Replacements: Tuapati Talemaitoga, Peni Ravai, Leeroy Atalifo, Nemia Soqeta, Naulia Dawai, Eremasi Radrodro, Nikola Matawalu, Kini Murimurivalu

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