Fiji Airways Flying Fijians
Head Coach John McKee has secured a wealth of experience in his match-day 23-member
squad for the opening round of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup match against
Japan, in Kamaishi this Saturday.
“We’re getting further down
our journey towards Rugby World Cup and have a stronger understanding of our
game plans and our systems,” McKee commented.
“I’m thrilled to have been
able to name such a strong squad for the match against Japan,” he added.
Local prop Eroni Mawi starts
in the front-row together with hooker Sam Matavesi and Manasa Saulo.
“Mawi deserves selection,”
McKee said. He’s an up and coming player that has been drafted for a number of
test matches as a reserve and this is his opportunity to show what he has in
the starting team this Saturday.”
Leone Nakarawa and Albert
Tuisue again partner up in the starting second row while skipper Dominiko
Waqaniburotu and Semi Kunatani will be on the flanks. Viliame Mata returns at
In the backs, Frank Lomani
comes in at scrum-half, Ben Volavola at Number 10 while Alivereti Veitokani
moves to full-backs position. The powerful combination of Waisea Nayacalevu and
Levani Botia strengthens the mid-field.
Filipe Nakosi starts his third
straight match at right wing while Patrick Osbourne will be on the left.
McKee said it’s really important
for the team to win the physical collision against Japan.
“We did that against the Maori
All Blacks in Suva. It is important that we repeat that type of dominance against
Japan,” he added.
McKee said they expect a fast
pace game from the Brave Blossoms, who will play their first test match of the
season in the weekend.
“They will play a very up tempo and a very
fast game so we need to work very hard in our defensive system and effort to
deny Japan opportunities to score,” McKee said.
The Fiji Airways Flying
Fijians face Japan at 5.50pm (FJT) this Saturday.
The match will be broadcast
live on Fiji One.
Airways Flying Fijians Match-day 23
- Ben Volavola
- Patrick Osbourne
- Levani Botia
- Waisea Nayacalevu
- Filipo Nakosi
- Alivereti Veitokani
16. Mesulame Dolokoto
17. Peni Ravai
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo
19. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa
20. Peceli Yato
21. Henry Seniloli
22. Jale Vatubua
23. Josh Matavesi