Rugby: Former Fiji coach McKee joins Force

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - The Killik Cup - Barbarians v Fiji - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 16, 2019 Fiji head coach John McKee before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Former Fiji national rugby coach John McKee has joined the Western Force as an assistant to Tim Sampson, the Perth-based side said on Friday.

McKee was in charge of the ‘Flying Fijians’ from 2014-2019 and was credited with helping enhance high-performance pathways and raise the standards of the national side.

The Force, who were cut from the broader Super Rugby competition in 2017, played in Super Rugby AU this year and are likely to be part of the domestic competition again next year with uncertainty over COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“It was fantastic to see the Force in Super Rugby AU this year,” McKee said in a statement. “The style of rugby they played throughout the competition showed how much potential there is within the group.”

The Force went winless in the competition but were competitive in most of their matches, a good sign given they had not played at that level for three years.

They have embarked on a recruitment spree since the competition ended last month.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford