The Fiji Rugby Union has released the team list of the Vodafone Flying Fijians that will take on the Wallabies in Melbourne this Saturday.
Coach, John McKee has named a powerful side which includes three international debutants in Pau (Section Paloise) based Jale Vatubua, Pro 12 Edinburgh player and Olympia Viliame Mata and local based Kalivati Tawake.
“I have been able to select a very strong and experienced team to take on the Wallabies in Melbourne on Saturday. My congratulations go to all the players and especially the three new caps, Jale Vatubua, Viliame Mata and Kalivati Tawake” McKee said.
“Preparation in Melbourne has been very good. I could definitely feel an increase in focus at training today as the players prepare for this important test match.”
McKee added that the test against Australia will be a big challenge for them.
“This Test against Australia will be a big challenge for us. With this challenge comes opportunity for players to make their mark with their performance for Fiji and for all of our supporters at home and overseas. This challenge presents a great opportunity for Fiji to make their mark in world rugby with a top class performance against the number three nation in the World.”
“If we can be our best, individually and as a team, in this match I believe we can push Australia all the way”.
Team morale has been high in camp and the solidarity of the players shows that they are highly motivated and proud to be representing their country on the world stage.
Besides Mata, fellow Olympian Leone Nakarawa has also been named in the run on team and in terms of rugby there is nothing better for a Fijian Rugby player to represent their country, express their talents and make their country proud against a Tier 1 nation.
FRU CEO, Mr John O’Connor congratulated the team on their selection and wished them all the best for their first test match.
“Congratulations on your selection for this first test match, especially to the three debutants. You have a huge challenge ahead of you, but that should not deter you from winning the match. The last time you met the Wallabies was at the 2015 RWC and you made an impression on them, one that the rugby world is still talking about. If you did it then, you can do it again. So go out there play to the best of your ability and make the nation proud.”
The Vodafone Flying Fijians team:
Campese Maáfu, Sunia Koto, Peni Ravai, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Naulia Dawai, Akapusi Qera ©, Nikola Matawalu, Ben Volavola, Vereniki Goneva, Jale Vatubua, Albert Vulivuli, Timoci Nagusa, Kini Murimurivalu, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Joeli Veitayaki, Kalivati Tawake, Api Ratuniyarawa, Viliame Mata, Nemani Nagusa, Seurpepeli Vularika, Benito Masilevu