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Vinaya Habosi and Levani Botia start as Raiwalui names squad for French test match

FIJI Water Flying Fijians robust winger Vinaya Habosi has made his cut into the run-on team as Head Coach Simon Raiwalui named a powerful match day 23-member squad for the match against France this weekend.

Habosi missed the last three test matches due to an injury he suffered during his club game with Racing 92 and he last featured for the FIJI Water Flying Fijians against Ireland during the 2022 November tour.

Raiwalui said “Habosi has been knocking at the door and finally he has got a chance to showcase his talent. It’s great news that he was cleared of an injury and we are looking forward to seeing him and what he has to offer against France.”

Looking at the line-up, our three front rows are Eroni Mawi and Mesake Doge at Props while Tevita Ikanivere starts at hooker. Isoa Nasilasila returns and will partner up with Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta at locks.

Meli Derenalagi gets his third straight start and will be guided by experienced and robust Levani Botia on the flanks. Viliame Mata is at number eight.

Frank Lomani and Caleb Muntz will form the halves combinations while Hobosi and Josua Tuisova will provide speed on the wings. Captain Semi Radradra and Iosefo Masi are in the centers while Sireli Maqala anchors at fullback.

Expect the momentum to pick up in the second spell, with players such as Sam Matavesi, Peni Ravai, Albert Tuisue, Simione Kuruvoli and Jiuta Wainiqolo on the bench.

Raiwalui said “This is one of the best opportunities to test ourselves in various areas. The whole team has been working hard for the past few days since arriving at Pornic and we are ready for the match.

He further added, “It’s a huge game for us as France have been playing really good rugby and while World Cup is here, there is a lot of interest in rugby and in the French team who are always a tough opponent to beat.”

FIJI Water Flying Fijians face France at 7 am {FJT} on Sunday.

FIJI Water Flying Fijians match day 23 versus France is as follows:

  1. Eroni Mawi
  2. Tevita Ikanivere
  3. Mesake Doge
  4. Isoa Nasilasila
  5. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta
  6. Meli Derenalagi
  7. Levani Botia
  8. Viliame Mata
  9. Frank Lomani
  10. Caleb Muntz
  11. Vinaya Habosi
  12. Semi Radradra {c}
  13. Iosefo Masi
  14. Josua Tuisova
  15. Sireli Maqala


  1. Sam Matavesi
  2. Peni Ravai
  3. Luke Tagi
  4. Temo Mayanavanua
  5. Albert Tuisue
  6. Simione Kuruvoli
  7. Jiuta Wainiqolo
  8. Ilaisa Droasese
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