Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Fijian trio to start for Highlanders

Three Fijian players who started for the Highlanders in their Super Rugby Pacific opening win against Moana Pasifika last week have been retained for their clash against the Blues in Melbourne tomorrow.

Jona Nareki and Timoci Tavatavanawai will again start on the wings while impressive youngster Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens will be at fullback.

Coach, Clarke Dermody, has named a team with few changes to face their first New Zealand team of the 2024 season.

In the forwards, Ethan de Groot returns to the front row and Jermaine Ainsley rotates into the starting tight head position. Additionally, Max Hicks comes into the team to join Pari Pari Parkinson at lock.

Not unexpectedly, the entire backline remains unchanged with standout performances from debutants, notably  Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens.

Rhys Patchell also retains his spot at first-five eighth while a rotation of reserve first-fives sees newcomer Ajay Faleafaga come into the playing 23 with a chance to debut in Melbourne.

The Highlanders vs Blues clash kicks off at 7pm at the AMMI Park.

Highlanders–  Ethan de Groot, Henry Bell, Jermaine Ainsley, Pari Pari Parkinson, Max Hicks, Sean Withy, Billy Harmon (C), Hugh Renton, Folau Fakatava, Rhys Patchell, Jona Nareki, Sam Gilbert (VC), Tanielu Tele’a, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Jacob Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens.

Reserves– Ricky Jackson, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Saula Ma’u, Fabian Holland, Nikora Broughton, Nathan Hastie, Ajay Faleafaga, Jonah Lowe.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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