RWC Diary Day 10 - Fiji named
08 September, 2011
|Flying Fijians head coach Sam Domoni announces the Fiji team to play Namibia while team captain Deacon Manu looks on. |
With the Fiji team to play Namibia named earlier this afternoon, are we seeing the changing of the guard? Quite possibly. Waisea Luveniyali has immense boots to fill as he claims the starting spot in the pivotal flyhalf position ahead of the great Nicky Little. However the Kasavu villager has his own boots firmly planted on the ground as he looks ahead to just simply playing the game.
“I’m just really excited to be back playing again and playing for Fiji in the Rugby World Cup, I just want to play rugby” Luveniyali said.
In the 2007 version of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) Luveniyali was very much the junior actor behind Little and Seremaia Bai for the flyhalf spot. However, this time around a series of strong performances in recent times, including in last year’s one-off Test against the Wallabies, means the trainee pilot could well be on the way to making the position his own.
But Little is unlikely to settle for second best as he closes in on a record 700 Test points, so the battle for the flyhalf spot could be an intriguing one as Fiji’s RWC campaign progresses.
In the forwards Viliame Veikoso made his debut for Fiji just under two years ago and now starts for the Flying Fijians in their opening Rugby World Cup match. An honour that the Nadi player is humbled by.
“I’m just gonna give it my all and concentrate particularly on the set pieces because I think that’ll be very very important in this game,” Veikoso said.
The Cakaudrove native, who is also a first cousin to Fiji and Gloucester flanker Akapusi Qera, is determined to get the line-outs working well.
“We’ve been really working hard with our line-outs ever since we finished the series with Tonga and I think it should be good come Saturday.”
Meanwhile skipper Deacon Manu has pleaded with fans to get right behind the team not only this Saturday but throughout the RWC.
“I would just plead with fans to get behind us, and I’d like to thank the many fans who have sent so many encouraging messages to the team via our social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and it’s been very encouraging to read the messages of support ,” said Manu.
Tomorrow (Friday) the team moves from Tauranga to Roturua where it’ll hold the Captain’s Run at the Roturua International Stadium in Roturua from 3:00 PM.
Fiji’s match against Namibia kicks-off at 3:30 PM on Saturday 10 August.
Meanwhile, in case you hadn’t noticed, the Rugby World Cup has finally arrived on everyone’s doorstep with our friendly neighbours Tonga taking on the mighty All Blacks on Friday evening in Auckland. It’s hard to believe four years have flown just like that and we are once again on the verge of world rugby’s greatest event.
Just can’t wait to get into it.
Until tomorrow, moce mada.
The full Fiji team versus Namibia is as follows:
1. Campese Ma'afu, 2. Viliame Veikoso, 3. Deacon Manu (cpt), 4. Leone Nakarawa, 5. Wame Lewaravu, 6. Domoniko Waqaniburotu, 7. Malakai Ravulo, 8. Netani Talei, 9. Nemia Kenatale, 10. Waisea Luveniyali, 11. Napolioni Nalaga, 12. Seremaia Bai, 13. Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 14. Vereniki Goneva, 15. Kini Murimurivalu, Reserves - 16. Sunia Koto, 17. Waisea Naulago, 18. Sekonaia Kalou, 19. Akapusi Qera, 20. Vitori Buatava, 21. Albert Vulivuli, 22. Iliesa Keresoni View the Flying Fijians RWC 2011 photo gallery.
Related articles: RWC Diary Day 8 - Tauranga Marae RWC Diary Day 9 - Paul Feeney