SWANSEA, 27 Sept - Timoci Nagusa was all set to hike through the Swiss Alps when Fijian coach John McKee sent an SOS.

Twenty fours later, the 28-year-old Montpellier wing, who thought his World Cup chances had gone, was running around in Swansea Bay, hoping to earn his place in the Fijian side for Thursday's Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A game against Wales in Cardiff.

An injury to Waisea Nayacavelu meant coach McKee had little choice but to track down Nagusa (pictured) and request his presence in the Fijian squad, based in Swansea.

Nagusa, who missed RWC 2011 because of injury and whose shoulder problems this summer meant him missing out on McKee's original World Cup squad, took up the story as Fiji wound down after a training session on the shores of Swansea Bay.

"I was actually up in the Swiss Alps, camping, hiking and training with the Montpellier team," said Nagusa, who had shoulder surgery in the summer.

"On Friday morning, I had a call to join the squad. So, I packed my things and left as quickly as I could.

"It was a good job I had a phone signal, otherwise I might still be up there.

"It was a very long day. First, I had a seven-hour journey back to Montpellier and then a flight to Cardiff via Amsterdam, and a car trip to Swansea to meet up with the boys.

Hard to breathe

"It was very tiring, but I'm very thankful to be here - and it's great here, too, good weather and a good surface on which to train.

"Having been up in the mountains training on my fitness with Montpellier, I feel good physically, too."

Not that a stint at altitude was that easy for Nagusa. "It was tough, very tough, especially at altitude," he said. "I'm not used to that coming from Fiji. It's hard to breathe up there. I'm certainly glad to be back down here at sea level."

Nagusa's only taste of RWC 2015 to date, was a quick trip to London last week to see his countrymen in action against England in the opening game of the tournament at Twickenham.

"I didn't actually get into the stadium to watch the game because I gave up my ticket to a friend who wanted to go," Nagusa said.

Great atmosphere

"I ended up watching the game with some friends in the fanzone. It was great, a great atmosphere.

"We had been given a break from Top 14 training so I flew in to London and watched it before going back to the squad in France.

"I thought we did really well, although it was strange watching it as a fan.

"What I would say is that I have never seen our forwards play so well, especially in the scrums and lineouts. If we have a good set piece, the backs can run and that's what we like.

"I know Wales will be tough, especially in Cardiff, but I think it's a good chance for Fiji and we have nothing to lose.

"It would be nice to get a chance because I missed the New Zealand World Cup through injury."

RNS gc/mr