The Vodafone Flying Fijians Head Coach John McKee this afternoon announced a 36 member squad that will march into camp on Monday 06 July in the build up to the Maori All Blacks match next Saturday at 3.00pm at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
“As we enter the next phase of our Rugby World Cup preparation and match-week for the Maori All Blacks I am very pleased to be able to name a very strong squad of players for our second (2nd) camp,” McKee said.
|1. Campese Ma’afu2. Tuapati Talemaitoga
3. Manasa Saulo
4. Api Ratuniyarawa
5. Leone Nakarawa
6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu
7. Akapusi Qera
8. Masi Matadigo
9. Nikola Matawalu
10. Ben Volavola
11. Nemani Nadolo
12. Gabby Lovobalavu
|13. Viriniki Goneva14. Benidito Masilevu
15. Kini Murimurivalu
16. Peni Ravai
17. Villiame Veikoso
18. Isei Calati
19. Tevita Cavubati
20. Malakai Ravulo
21. Nemia Kenatali
22. Josh Matevesi
23. Metuisela Talebula
24. Joeli Veitayaki
|25. Sunia Koto26. Taniela Koroi
27. Api Naikatini
28. Nemia Soqeta
29. Peceli Yato
30. Henry Seniloli
31. Jonetani Ralulu
32. Lepani Botia
33. Asaeli Tikoirotuma
34. Waisea Nayacalevu
35. Napoloni Nalaga
36. Jale Sassen
He also said competition for spots in this year’s Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) squad will be intense as seen by the depth in strength by position across the squad.
New players to the squad are Ben Volavola (Waratahs), Waisea Nayacalevu, (Paris), Napolioni Nalaga and Peceli Yato, (Clermont).
“These players will really be looking to make their mark in squad training to show that they’ve got what it takes to make selection for the Maori All Blacks match and PNC Tournament,” McKee said.
“Assistant Coach Lineout’s & Restarts Frans Ludeke arrived today (Saturday) from South Africa and has immediately got down to work studying the form of our players and looking at out lineout strategy for next week,” McKee added.
Frans Ludeke has been the Blue Bulls Head-Coach from 2008 to 2015. The Blue Bulls won the Super Rugby competition in 2009 and 2010.
McKee said the Maori All Blacks provides an ideal start to Fiji’s Rugby World Cup Campaign. “I expect an open and fast moving game with both teams prepared to play a running game.”
McKee said the Maori All Blacks will provide a very stern test for their set-play at scrum and lineout. “We will be doing plenty of work in these areas in training this week,” he said.
The Vodafone Flying Fijians coaching team boast’s strong rugby icons and also include (1) Assistant Coach – Attack: Tabai Matson (2) Assistant Coach – Defence and Skills: Moses Rauluni and (4) Assistant Coach – Scrum: Alan Muir.
The extended squad broke camp at Novotel Lami today (for the weekend) after 3 intense days of fitness sessions.
They face the Maori All Blacks at 3.00pm on Saturday 11 July at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. They then face the Ikale Tahi team (Tonga) the week after in their first Pacific Nations Cup match at 3.00pm on Saturday 18 July at the ANZ Stadium.
The Vodafone Flying Fijians then travel to the USA and play Samoa on Friday 24 July and then travel onto Canada where they play Japan on Wednesday 29 July 2015.