2 Jun 2014

Sport: Fiji and Samoa U20s face tough start in IRB Junior World Championship

11:27 am on 2 June 2014

Fiji and Samoa are well aware of the challenges facing them in the Junior World Championship, which kicks off in Auckland on Monday.

Samoa finished ninth of 12 teams at last year's tournament while Fiji narrowly avoided relegation from the top tier, beating the USA in the playoff for 11th place.

The Fiji Under 20s begin their campaign against Wales in Pukekohe before rounding off the group phase against France and Ireland.

Assistant coach Iliesa Tanivula says fortunately there is plenty of video footage of their opponents to pour over.

"We've been analysing their Six Nations: all of these teams have been there so we've got all their clips. They've got a big pack - all of them - so it's something we've got to work hard and try and go up against and hopefully we can get around them somehow and try and give them a good run tomorrow. We've just got to take each game as it comes. It's a quick turnaround in four days so we've just got to look at this game and hopefully we get up tomorrow and give Wales a good run and then we will take it from there".

Samoa have been beaten in both of their warm-up fixtures against the Counties Manakau and Blues development teams.

They take on hosts New Zealand in tonight's feature match and head coach Semo Sititi says it will be a good yard-stick for his players.

"Most of the players that we have now play with the New Zealand boys so it's always a good challenge for us to see where we are at. We will go from there - hopefully we will get a good result this year and then we are looking at to improve our preparation and get in some more games".

Samoa also face Scotland and South Africa over the coming eight days.