12 Nov 2012

Sport: Fiji and Tonga get chance to move on

11:21 am on 12 November 2012

Fiji and Tonga will get an early opportunity to move on from their opening defeats, with midweek matches against English club sides Gloucester and Newcastle.

Flying Fijians coach Inoke Male lashed out at European clubs following his side's record 54-12 defeat by England at Twickenham.

The build-up to the opening match of Fiji's northern tour was overshadowed by allegations that European clubs were illegally refusing to release players for international duty.

The Fijian Rugby Union lodged a formal complaint with their French counterparts, after Racing-Metro lock Jone Qovu withdrew from their squad.

The French Rugby Federation responded by banning Qovu from playing for Racing until the end of Fiji's tour.

Inoke Male says if all his players had been available Fiji would have been able to give England a good game, but instead they had just three days to prepare together instead of two weeks.

He also challeneged England and other tier one nations to play the Pacific Island countries more regularly.

The 'Ikale Tahi lost their clash against Italy 28-23.