Rory Best named as Fiji’s forwards coach for autumn tour to Europe

All players, coaches and management are based in the northern hemisphere

Rory Best has been appointed as Fiji’s forwards coach for their fixtures against Spain, Wales and Georgia. Photograph: Getty Images

Rory Best has been appointed as Fiji’s forwards coach for their fixtures against Spain, Wales and Georgia. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Former Ireland captain Rory Best has been appointed as Fiji’s forwards coach for their autumn tour to Europe.

Coronavirus-related travel restrictions mean that all players, coaches and management based in the southern hemisphere — including national boss Vern Cotter — will be prevented from taking part in the fixtures against Spain, Wales and Georgia.

A new coaching team headed by the Islanders’ sevens mastermind Gareth Baber will be in place with Best, who won 124 caps for Ireland before stepping down in 2019, taking charge of the pack.

Scots Duncan Hodge and Richie Gray will oversee the backs and ruck/contact area respectively.

Fiji Rugby Union chief executive John O’Connor said: “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.

“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.”

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