Editorial comment: All the best to the Flying Fijians

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians side after their training run at Churchill Park in Lautoka before departing for Japan. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Today we farewell our Flying Fijians as they head off for the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this month.

As we count down the days until our first game against Australia on September 21, there is a high level of expectation on our campaign this year.

We rocked the boat in 2015 when we effectively countered the English scrum, then we inched out goosebumps when we came off with a rock solid scrum against the Australian Wallabies at the RWC 2015.

Today we say farewell to a group of players who have been preparing well for the biggest tournament of their young lives.

This is when years of trying for a spot in the team to a RWC is realised.

Not all Fijian rugby players will make it to the national side. It is the selected few who do make it though, who will eventually carry our hopes and aspirations to the premier event on the planet for rugby players.

On paper we have a side brimming with talent and potential.

We have a side that packs weight, height, pace, aggression, skills, experience and flair. It is now up to them to channel their energy to turn this outfit into a winning one.

National coach John McKee has made no bones about what he expects from our team.

He wants them to be part of history.

That can happen when we pull out all stops and give this event our best shot.

History will tell us that we have managed to get past the pool rounds.

History will also tell us that we have a very powerful side this year, especially when we do comparisons.

For once, we have the stuff of dreams in our back line.

Our pack has sustained great pressure in the lead-up preparations.

Our back row, especially, have added an exciting dimension to our game.

There is a certain toughness that stands out in this team.

For Dominiko Waqaniburotu and his men, the challenge is to come off with their A game. As fans, we have a responsibility to stand up for our side.

Today, we say farewell to the Flying Fijians. We say, go out there, do your best, play hard, believe in yourselves, and enjoy your game.

Remember, you have every Fijian riding on your shoulders, cheering you on, believing in you. Go Fiji, go.

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