Raiwalui replaces Cotter

February 24, 2023 4:56 pm

The new Flying Fijians head coach Simon Raiwalui [left] with new Fijiana Drua coach Inoke Male [right]

Fiji Rugby Union High Performance General Manager Simon Raiwalui is the new Flying Fijians head coach.

This was announced by the Fiji Rugby Union today.

He takes over the role from Vern Cotter who resigned last month.

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Raiwalui says since his playing days, his goal was to always be involved with Fiji Rugby.

“It was a dream to come back. I was interviewed for both roles in 2020, I was shortlisted for both and i got the role of General Manager. It was always a dream to come back and it became a reality now with this appointment so I’m really looking to getting stuck into the role.”

FRU Acting chief executive Tevita Tuiloa says Raiwalui brings a lot of experience as he served as a Wallabies forwards coach from 2018 to 2020 before joining the FRU as High Performance General Manager.

“He has put his hands up and we have full confidence in him to get the job done. It’s been before in 20007, there’s no reason we can’t do it again now. After three World Cup cycles, 2011, 2015 and 2019, I think we will be fourth time lucky this year with Simon and the caliber of the players that we have.”

He was also a General Manager for French club Racing Métro 92.

The former international lock debuted for Fiji against New Zealand in 1997 and was part of Fiji’s 1999 World Cup team playing a key role in the quarter-final playoffs against England.

He captained the national side in the 2006 Pacific Five Nations championship.

Prior to joining Fiji, the New Zealand born played for Sale Sharks, Newport in Wales and Saracens in 2003.