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Five Fijians named for France clash

Five players who share links to Fiji have been named in the Wallabies squad for their final Rugby World Cup warm-up match against France on Sunday.

Head coach Eddie Jones has named a mixture of young and experienced players and lock Will Skelton will become the 87th captain in Australian history.

Skelton re-takes his place in the starting side alongside Richie Arnold, with the back-row of Tom Hooper, Fraser McReight and Brumbies back-rower Rob Valetini unchanged.

Fiji-born Queensland Reds winger Suliasi Vunivalu is the most notable change in the backs, starting on the wing along with NSW Waratahs promising star Mark Nawaqanitawase.

Lalakai Foketi starts in his first Test of 2023, with Samu Kerevi on the sidelines for this game due to a hand injury.

Fijian-Waratah Langi Gleeson has been included for his first Test of the year, with Matt Philip and Rob Leota completing the six forwards on the bench.

There are just 258 Test caps in the starting XV, with Blake Schoupp and Fijian halfback Issak Fines-Leleiwasa in line to make their debuts off the bench.  Schoupp and Fines-Leleiwasa headline the finishers.

Fines-Leleiwasa and Donaldson are the two backs covering the bench, with Jones eager to test their ‘Rugby fitness.’

The Wallabies will face France at 7.45pm at Stade de France in Paris.

Wallabies: Angus Bell, David Porecki, Taniela Tupou, Richie Arnold, Will Skelton (C), Tom Hooper, Fraser McReight, Rob Valetini, Tate McDermott (VC), Carter Gordon, Suliasi Vunivalu, Lalakai Foketi, Jordan Petaia, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Andrew Kellaway.

Subs: Matt Faessler, Blake Schoupp, Zane Nonggorr, Matt Philip, Rob Leota, Langi Gleeson, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Ben Donaldson.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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