AAP Rugby

Adamson ready for Fiji coaching move

By AAP Newswire

Former NSW State of Origin player Matt Adamson will move to Fiji if he is given the country's full-time coaching job.

Adamson will lead Fiji in an interim basis for the first time in Saturday night's Pacific Test against Papua New Guinea, before a full-time replacement for Michael Potter is announced next month.

The former Penrith forward already spends time in the country as the owner of a building business, and got the interim role after submitting a proposal on the sport's development there four years ago.

Part of that includes the national coach living in the country on a full-time basis, and overseeing the development of talented teenagers before placing them in NRL systems in a bid to provide pathways for players.

And Adamson said he was ready to make the move if appointed.

"You've got to practise what you preach," he said.

"I've lived in three countries and four states in the past 10 years. The family is committed to it, and if the opportunity was to come we'd go to Fiji and make that change."

Adamson, who previously coached under-20s at Melbourne and worked with their Queensland development programs, has spent recent weekends in Fiji casting his eye over 60 talents between the ages of 19 and 24.

From there, he has identified 30 players he believes could step into NRL systems, with the help of church groups to assist with the move to Australia regardless if the Fiji NSW Cup effort is successful.

"It's not just about footy," Adamson said.

"I'm lucky to have relationships at different clubs I've played at.

"To look at them and say, there's a halfback, where would he best suit with coaches and older players? Not just who is going to pay him the most money."

Adamson is also desperate to tap into the Fijian school system at a younger age, after the likes of Suliasi Vunivalu and Marika Koroibete weren't identified until late in their teens.

"Development is more than just plucking the kid, it's educating the kid at a young age about body movement, how to catch a ball, how to carry it," he said.

"If you get to them at the early stages of their career, by the time it gets to that 14-16 age group when they physically and mentally start to develop, you're ticking the right boxes.

"There is an abundance of talent ... It's the program that has to be put in place to get more Sulis, Akuia Uates and more Kevvy Naiqamas.

"The outcome of it could be the Cinderella Story. But it takes time."