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John McKee hopes to continue Fiji's improvement against Uruguay

Published 05/10/2015

Fiji head coach John McKee is looking to continue the nation's improvement on the world stage
Fiji head coach John McKee is looking to continue the nation's improvement on the world stage

Fiji coach John McKee insists his Islanders have made progress throughout a ferocious World Cup pool that is finally set to yield a victory when they face Uruguay in Milton Keynes.

Defeats to England, Australia and Wales have proved a test of Fijian resources and they have responded well knowing that had they been drawn in a less competitive group, they may have qualified for the quarter-finals.

"When you look at the games we've played - three games in 13 days - it's a challenge for any team. From that point of view, I cannot fault the effort of the players," McKee said.

"We want to be serious challengers to these top nations. That was my main driver when I took this job that some time in the future or when I leave that Fiji can play anyone in the world.

"We are making a lot of progress, there are a lot of challenges ahead to make sure the next young crop of players are grounded in the skills needed at this level.

"The pleasant thing for me is that a lot of these players will be available for selection in 2019."

Uruguay have also failed to win a match at England 2015 and should prove easy prey for Fiji.

"I have a lot of respect for Uruguay. They have come from a hard road to qualify for the World Cup. They've showed what a strong, passionate team they are," McKee said.

"We are a little familiar with them, having played them earlier in the year, albeit with locally-based players for us, so we understand their style of play."

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