RWC Diary Day 17 - Fiji team named
15 September, 2011
|Media attending the announcement of the Fiji team to play South Africa. |
Head coach Sam Domoni has made three changes to the starting XV for Fiji’s game against South Africa this Saturday evening. In at hooker comes the veteran Sunia Koto while Gloucester flanker Akapusi Qera reclaims his openside place on the side of the scrum. At the back of the scrum Netani Talei moves to the bench to make way for Montpellier’s Sakiusa Masi.
While Domoni has kept faith with the backline which started against Namibia there are a number of changes on the bench with Talemaitoga Tuapati coming in at 16, Talei at 18 and Sisa Koyamaibole poised to come on as a major impact player to rattle the Boks. Other changes to the bench see’s Nicky Little claiming a place on the starting 22 alongside Naitasiri’s Ravai Fatiaki.
A swarm of media attended the official announcement of the team this afternoon, many of them sporting South African accents. While most of the media made a beeline for either head coach Domoni or team captain Deacon Manu, a good few were also keen to interview Fiji’s four try hero from the Namibia game - Vereniki Goneva.
For a person with a naturally shy demeanour Goneva is fast becoming very media savvy, and it seems the media believe the Nagado kid will conjure up something special this Saturday. We’re absolutely sure he will.
The full Fiji team to play South Africa is as follows:
1. Campese Ma’afu,2. Sunia Koto, 3. Deacon Manu (capt), 4. Leone Nakarawa, 5. Wame Lewaravu, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 7. Akapusi Qera, 8. Sakiusa Matadigo, 9. Nemia Kenatale, 10. Waisea Luveniyali, 11. Naipolioni Nalaga, 12. Seremaia Bai, 13. Gabirieli Lovobalavu (v-capt), 14. Vereniki Goneva, 15. Kini Murimurivalu, Reserves – 16. Talemaitoga Tuapati, 17. Waisea Nailago, 18. Netani Talei, 19. Sisa Koyamaibole, 20. Vitori Buatava, 21. Nicky Litle, 22. Ravai Fatiaki
Today was a complete rest day for the team with the half hour media conference the only obligation for the players. Many of the players today put their feet up and just rested while some took the opportunity to explore New Zealand’s capital city.
Walking through Wellington’s streets you come across Kiwis of European decent, Asians, Samoans, Tongans, Americans, English, Irish and Argentineans but one thought strikes you - just where are the Maori?
Conspicuous by their lack of numbers it seems the indigenous people (indigenous may now be the wrong word as sadly there are no full blooded Maori left in New Zealand) seem to have been squeezed out of this capital city and into its suburbs. A stroll through Wellington’s now very cosmopolitan streets, with the relative absence of Maori folk, and it’s very plausible you could be in absolutely any city anywhere in the world – doesn’t really seem right.
Tomorrow Fiji’s captain’s run is scheduled for 5:00 PM at the impressive Wellington Regional Stadium. The support the team has received from all Fijians in New Zealand has been overwhelming. There’s an expectation or sense Fiji will do something special on Saturday – it’s also a feeling the players and every single member of the Flying Fijians contingent feel.
Bring on the Boks!
Until tomorrow, moce mada. View the Flying Fijians RWC 2011 photo gallery.
Related articles: RWC Diary Day 15 - Boks media RWC Diary Day 16 - Local support