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Pivac resigns as Fiji rugby coach

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SYDNEY, Australia -- Wayne Pivac has announced he is quitting his job as Fiji coach, eight months before the World Cup.

Pivac told the New Zealand Press Association on Friday he was leaving Fiji to return home to New Zealand for family reasons.

"We made a decision at Christmas time when I was home that the best thing for the family was for me to return," he said.

"At the end of the day, it hasn't worked out for the family."

Pivac said he was leaving in the belief that Fiji rugby was in a strong position ahead of this year's World Cup, where they have been drawn in the same group as Australia, Wales, Japan and Canada.

However, he said he remained frustrated at the lack of financial help and availability of top players for all the Pacific Islander countries.

"On paper we've got a pretty good squad but unfortunately in the three years we've been here, we haven't been able to put that paper team together," Pivac said.

"That is a frustration that every coach, not only in Fiji but the Pacific Islands faces -- we don't have the funding to contract our players to the level they do in NPC, let alone Super 14 or these clubs in Europe."

Pivac said Epi Tawake, Ilivasi Tabua and Iliesa Tanivula were the most likely candidates to replace him as national coach.

Pivac spoke about his frustrations at the unavailability of top players.

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