June 30, 2022
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10 Drua reps in Fiji team to face Tonga

Vodafone Flying Fijians Head Coach Vern Cotter has named ten Fijian Drua players in his match-day 23 for the Pacific Nations Cup opener against Tonga on Saturday.

A mixture of young and experienced players have been selected from the pool of players who were in camp for the past two weeks.

The six Fijian Drua debutants include,Isoa Nasilasila who starts at lock, Rusiate Nasove at openside flanker and inform second five-eighth Kalaveti Ravouvou in the number 12 jersey, Vinaya Habosi at blindside wing and Peni Matawalu at reserve scrum-half.

Other Drua reps in the team are prop Haereiti Hetet, veteran Manasa Saulo, hooker Tevita Ikanivere, fly-half Teti Tela.

"We need to give players opportunities and at the same time we need to give players coming late time to stimulate what we have done and get the feeling of the group," Cotter said.

"The players who have been here longer had that added advantage.”

Halfback Frank Lomani will guide the backline while Teti Tela gets an opportunity to start at fly-half.

Former All Black Setareki Tamanivalu has an opportunity to debut off the bench alongside Sam Matavesi, Eroni Mawi, Luke Tagi, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Kamikamica, Matawalu and Manasa Mataele.

“These players will bring experience when bodies are a little bit tired and will be able to do extra work ons at the final stage of the game.”

Cotter is expecting a strong performance from the Tongan side who will hope to create an upset by defeating the Vodafone Flying Fijians at home.

The Flying Fijians host Tonga at 3.30pm at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

Vodafone Flying Fijians (1-15): Haereiti Hetet,Tevita Ikanivere, Manasa Saulo, Isoa Nasilasila,Tevita Ratuva, Mesualme Kunavula, Rusiate Nasove, Albert Tuisue, Frank Lomani, Teti Tela, Vinaya Habosi, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Waisea Nayacalevu (C), Jiuta Wainiqolo, Setareki Tuicuvu.

Reserves- Sam Matavesi, Eroni Mawi, Luke Tagi, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Kitione Kamikamica, Peni Matawalu, Setareki Tamanivalu, Manasa Mataele.

By Noa Biudole


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