May 10, 2018
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians Head Coach John McKee today named a powerful squad for the 2018 Pacific Nations Cup and June Test Series.
The 30-member squad includes big names like Captain Akapusi Qera, Nemani Nadolo, Timoci Nagusa, Vereniki Goneva, Jale Vatubua, Josua Tuisova, Leone Nakarawa, Ben Volavola, Semi Radradra and Viliame Mata.
McKee said players were closely monitored and tracked prior to consideration for selection for the 2018 PNC which will be played over three rounds at the ANZ Stadium and Churchill Park.
He said that the June Test Series would be very challenging and is an important one for the Flying Fijians.
“With less than 18 months to RWC 2019 this June Test Series is very challenging and important for us in both terms of Fiji’s standing as the top Tier 2 Nation and with an eye towards our preparation for RWC 2019.”
“As good as some of our match performance was in 2017 we need to be better in 2018. Our performance levels must build towards 2019 to put us in the best position to have a successful RWC.”
“It will be very important for overseas based players to arrive at camp ready to hit the ground running. For players whose season finishes on the weekend of May 5th / 6th it will be important to attend Daily Training Exercises (DTEs) on return to Fiji.”
Mckee added that the locally based players will also have a chance to stake their claim for selection and could be included based on their performance in the Domestic Competition.
Host Fiji and fellow Pacific nations Tonga and Samoa will be joined by the national team of Georgia during the June international window to compete for the Cup.
The Selected Players are:
Loose Head Prop – Campese Maáfu, Peni Ravai, Eroni Mawi.
Hooker – Tuapati Talemaitoga, Ratunaisa Navuma, Tuvere Veremalua.
Tight Head Prop – Ropate Rinakama, Kalivati Tawake, Manasa Saulo.
Lock – Sikeli Nabou, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Albert Tuisue.
Back Row – Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Viliame Mata, Mosese Voka, Nemani Nagusa, Akapusi Qera.
Half Back – Henry Seniloli, Frank Lomani, Serupepeli Vularika
Scrum Half – Ben Volavola
Centre – Jale Vatubua, Sevanaia Galala, Semi Radrara
Wing – Vereniki Goneva, Josua Tuisova, Nemani Nadolo, Timoci Nagusa
Full Back – Kini Murimurivalu
Players on Standby – Eremasi Radrodro, Nikola Matawalu, Eroni Vasiteri, Patrick Osbourne, Benito Masilevu, Seta Tuicuvu
Not Considered due to Injury – Tevita Cavubati, Peceli Yato, Levani Botia.
2018 Pacific Nations Cup Fixtures
By Reginald Chandar