Flying Fijians squad named for All Blacks Test
18 July, 2011
The Fiji Rugby Union has today named a 24 member squad to travel to New Zealand on Wednesday for the one off Test against the All Blacks – the number one ranked side in the world.
The 24 man squad boasts nine local based players in Sekonaia Kalou, Napolioni Nalaga, Ravai Fatiaki, Setefano Somoca, Viliame Veikoso, Rupeni Nasiga, Nemia Ranuku, Taniela Rawaqa and Fiji Under 20 player Metuisela Talebula.
The All Blacks v Fiji Test has been arranged as a fundraiser for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, with profits from the match going directly to the Appeal. The game will be played on Friday, 22 July at Carisbrook in Dunedin.
Flying Fijians coach Samuela Domoni believes the Test will compliment perfectly Rugby World Cup preparations for the Flying Fijians.
“We played our last Pacific Nations Cup (PNC) match on July 13 and have only the Punjas Series in August against Tonga to test players prior to the actual World Cup, so having a Test against the best team in the world between the PNC and the Punjas Series fits perfectly into our preparations,” Domoni said.
The last time the two sides met was on 10 June, 2005 at North Harbour in New Zealand, a game won comfortably by the All Blacks - 91-nil. The All Blacks have never played an official Test in Fiji though in 1974 a New Zealand XV just beat Fiji 13-14 in Suva. On that day the New Zealand XV included, in the backline, All Blacks: J. Karem, B. Williams, B. Robertson, G. Batty and D. Bruce.
The Flying Fijians depart Nadi International Airport on Wednesday, 20 July at 8:45AM.
The full Flying Fijians travelling squad is as follows:
1. Campese Ma’afu, 2. Sunia Koto, 3. Deacon Manu, 4. Ifereimi Rawaqa, 5. Sekonaia Kalou, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 7. Akapusi Qera, 8. Sakiusa Matadigo, 9. Vitori Buatava, 10. Seremaia Bai, 11. Napolioni Nalaga, 12. Ravai Fatiaki, 13. Albert Vulivuli, 14. Vereniki Goneva, 15. Iliesa Keresoni, 16. Setefano Samoca, 17. Viliame Veikoso, 18. Rupeni Nasiga, 19. Malakai Ravulo, 20. Nemia Ranuku, 21. Taniela Rawaqa, 22. Metuisela Talebula, 23. Timoci Nagusa, 24. Netani Talei