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Veteran utility back Vereniki Goneva will start on the wings for the Flying Fijians in the final World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup match against Samoa at ANZ Stadium this Saturday.
The 35-year-old is back from injury and has been given the nod to start in his first match this season.
Coach John McKee said Goneva is a very experienced player and a role model for others in the team.
“We all know what a great player he is and a leader on and off the field.”
Alongside him, Setareki Tuicuvu will make his second appearance for the Flying Fijians after earning his first cap against France in November last year.
“Tuicuvu is a young player on the way up and has had some really good match time with his season in Clermont,” McKee revealed.
McKee added both players were injured and have recovered well.
“They had a few unfortunate injuries which restricted their game time. But credit to them they have worked very hard during their rehabilitation.
“They’re in top notch in their fitness conditions and are really looking forward to the game.”
McKee has named an experienced front-row led by hooker Sam Matavesi and Props Campese Ma’afu and Peni Ravai.
Tevita Cavubati returns to the starting line-up and will partner with Leone Nakarawa at locks.
Skipper Dominiko Waqaniburotu will be on the flanks together with Semi Kunatani.
Viliame Mata retains his position at number eight.
Half-Back Frank Lomani and Fly-half Ben Volavola start after missing the Canada match up last week.
McKee will test a new combinations in the mid-field patterning Levani Botia and Semi Radradra in the centres.
“We are looking at a few positions ahead of the Rugby World Cup, giving the players the opportunity to get some game time before the squad is announced,” McKee explained.
“We are looking at our combinations within the team and are getting them to play together so that they get the combinations together,” McKee said.
The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians face Many Samoa at 7.15pm at ANZ Stadium this Saturday.
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians match-day 23
1. Campese Ma’afu
2. Sam Matavesi
3. Peni Ravai
4. Tevita Cavubati
5. Leone Nakarawa
6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu
7. Semi Kunatani
8. Viliame Mata
9. Frank Lomani
10. Ben Volavola
11. Patrick Osbourne
12. Levani Botia
13. Semi Radradra
14. Vereniki Goneva
15. Setareki Tuicuvu
16. Mesulame Dolokoto
17. Eroni Mawi
18. Kalivati Tawake
19. Tevita Ratuva
20. Peceli Yato
21. Nikola Matawalu
22. Josh Matavesi
23. Kini Murimurivalu
Pacific Islands News Association
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