Erasmus will look to sign more Fijians



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Stormers Super 14 rugby coach Rassie Erasmus will look at Fijian players to bolster his Stormers should the need arise in 2009 or beyond.

The former Springbok is currently in Fiji in order to re-sign Stormers wing Sireli Naqelevuki and made the comments to the Fiji Times as he watched the Nadroga-Nadi Digicel Cup match on Friday night.

Erasmus said that he was impressed with the talent on show at Lawaqa Park but issued the proviso on choosing Fijian Talent that he would fill his Stormers squad with South African talent before looking elsewhere.

“Fijians are so much talented and are good at rugby,” Erasmus said.

“We will look at fielding our local players first, and should there be a need for a position, I won’t have a problem to take on board a Fijian.”

Erasmus said that every club and mentor needed to understand about their players, and this was one of the main reasons he undertook the trip to Fiji.

Erasmus said that learning more about a player and his country was a priority, as this was a way of building a successful team.

Apart from meeting Naqqelevuki, he said his mission was to learn more about the culture and background of the Flying Fijian.

“I am especially here to learn more about the players and their environment and how we can deal with them, and what is important to them,” Erasmus said.

“This is the same for Sireli, as I wanted to see how he did things here, and what his lifestyle and family life was like compared to South Africa.”

Despite there being reports of Naqelevuki’s future being in doubt Erasmus said that he had not problems with the Stormers player.

“We have been talking to him and there are no problems,” he said.

“He had a great Super 14 season, and we were impressed and looking forward to 2009.”

Newly appointed Waratahs coach Chris Hickey was also in Fiji last weekend and FRU High Performance Unit manager Peter Murphy said to have two S14 coaches visit, was an indication of Fiji being noticed on the world stage.

“It is heartening to have two coaches visit us and not only is to look at our players, but the way Fiji rugby working,” Murphy said.

“To have more Fijian player in the Super 14 is our aim, and that is something which we hope to achieve.”

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