5 May 2014

Sport: Coach says Four Nations berth 'massive' for Samoan rugby league

2:22 pm on 5 May 2014

The new Flying Fijians coach John McKee plans to hit the ground running following his elevation to the top job.

McKee has been promoted from his role as Fiji Rugby's High Performance Manager and replaces Inoke Male, who was sacked in January.

He was a technical advisor to Tonga at the 2011 World Cup and has held a range of other coaching positions in Australia, Europe and with the Pacific Islanders team.

John McKee says his immediate focus is the Pacific Nations Cup and World Cup qualifying match against the Cook Islands next month and says planning is already well underway.

"It's not as if I'm coming in new. In my role as High Performance Manager, because the head coach position was vacant, for the previous two months I've been doing alot of the work that a head coach would normally do, around assisting overseas players towards selection and also the planning of the assemblies and the trainings, so planning for June is quite well down the track. It's not as if we were waiting for the head coach and then start thinking about what we were going to do next so from that point of view things are well on track.".

John McKee says the Flying Fijians have underperformed in recent years and hopes that, after a number of changes in personnel, a period of stability will lead to success.