Asinate Serevi named the captain as Seruvakula rings in eight changes
Fijiana 15s Head Coach Senirusi Seruvakula has made eight changes to his match-day squad to face South Africa in their second Rugby World Cup pool match at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland on Sunday.
Seruvakula has maintained his front row of Iris Verebalavu and Siteri Rasolea on the props while Vika Matarugu is at hooker.
Two changes have been made in the second row. Captain Sereima Leweniqila has been rested and replaced by Merevesi Ofakimalino who will partner with Asinate Serevi at locks.
Serevi also takes over the captaincy role.
19-year-old Sulita Waisega gets her second straight start and will pair up with Raijieli Daveua who earns her second cap relegating Ema Adivitaloga to the bench.
In the backs, Talei Wilson comes in at the outside center and will partner up with Sesenieli Donu. Ilisapeci Delaiwau and Akanisi Sokoiwasa are the new wings who will be put in to counter the opposition on Sunday.
Joma Rubuti, Kolora Lomani, Ana Maria Naimasi and Timaima Ravisa are expected to earn their World Cup debut off the bench.
Seruvakula said these players have been expected to have an impact against South Africa, a game which they need to win to remain in contention for a quarterfinal berth.
“We have assessed the players and they are all raring to go against their opponent,” he said.
He added it’s a huge blow that they have lost their captain but has full faith in Serevi to deliver the job on the day.
Seruvakula said “She has been one of our co-captains and an outstanding player on and off the field. She has the quality to lead the pack and I believe she will do well as a lock and leader of the team.”
He said South Africa will put up a powerful performance therefore the whole team needs to bring in their best game on the day.
“They are a forward-oriented team and will try and counter us on scrums, lineouts and mauls but we have a game plan and are prepared to face them,” said Seruvakula.
Fijiana takes on South Africa at 4.45pm FJT on Sunday.
Fijiana Squad V South Africa
- Iris Verebalavu
- Vika Matarugu
- Siteri Rasolea
- Asinate Serevi
- Merevesi Ofakimalino
- Sulita Waisega
- Raijieli Daveua
- Karalaini Naisewa
- Lavena Cavuru
- Merewalesi Rokouono
- Ilisapeci Delaiwau
- Sesenieli Donu
- Talei Wilson
- Akanisi Sokoiwasa
- Roela Radiniyavuni
- Bitila Tawake
- Bolou Vasuturaga
- Mereoni Namositava
- Joma Rubuti
- Ema Adivitaloga
- Kolora Lomani
- Ana Maria Naimasi
- Timaima Ravisa