Vodafone Fijiana 15s Head Coach Inoke Male has named five debutants in his 30-member squad for the inaugural WXV 3 Tournament scheduled to be played in Dubai next week.
The five are Penina Turova, Mary Kanace, Iva Sauira, Una Lalabalavu and Loraini Senivutu.
Turova joins the team from Worcester Warriors, an English Premier Club, while Mary Kanace is from the Linwood Rugby Club in New Zealand, and Iva Sauira plays for the Tasman Mako Womens in the Farah Palmer Cup.
Male expressed his enthusiasm for these newcomers, stating that they bring a breath of fresh air to the team, which is much needed as they prepare for the WXV 3 Tournament.
“It’s good to have the three international players training with us in Fiji; they have been in camp for a few months and are integrating well with the local players.”
“They are all standout performers in their respective clubs, and we are grateful that they are also willing to wear the white jersey.”
Several local players who made their debut in the Vodafone Fijiana vs Japan test match last month have retained their spots in the squad.
Notable names include Salanieta Nabuli, Tiana Robanakadavu, Unaisi Lalabalavu, Salanieta Kinita, Merewairita Neivosa, and Atelaite Buna.
Male emphasised the extensive preparations made over the past months to build a formidable team for the WXV 3 Tournament, which also serves as a qualifier for the 2025 Rugby World Cup.
“We have a cohesive and determined group, and our primary focus is to make a significant impact in Dubai.”
The side will be Captained by veteran Sereima Leweniqila and co-captains are Rooster Chicken Fijian Drua skipper Bitila Tawake and former Fijiana 7s star Rusila Nagasau.
The WXV 3 Tournament will feature the Vodafone Fijiana 15’s, Colombia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Spain, and Kenya.
The competition will adopt a cross-pool format, with the fate of the bottom-ranked team determined by a playoff against the next-best side, as per the World Rugby Women’s Rankings.
The tournament is scheduled to commence on October 13th at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai.
Fijiana will open their campaign against Colombia on 13 before they take on Spain on 20 and round off their play-off against Kazakhstan on 27.
Fijiana XVs: Bitila Tawake, Salanieta Nabuli, Loraini Senivutu, Tiana Robanakadavu, Penina Turova, Merevesi Ofakimalino, Unaisi Lalabalavu, Ana Korovata, Doreen Narokete, Nunia Daunimoala, Sulita Waisega, Karalaini Naisewa, Sereima Leweniqila, Mereoni Nakesa, Teresia Tinanivalu, Evivi Senikarivi, Salanieta Kinita, Vani Arei, Wainikiti Vosadrau, Adita Milinia, Adi Fulori Rotagavira, Merewai Cumu, Rusila Nagasau, Setaita Railumu, Jennifer Goodsir Ravutia, Merewairita Neivosa, Atelaite Buna, Luisa Tisolo, Mary Kanace, Iva Sauira.