Tela and Lomani in starting Fijian Drua line-up against Reds


Teti Tela and Frank Lomani have been selected in Swire Shipping Fijian Drua line-up to take on Queensland Reds for this weekendin round four.

Flanker Meli Derenalagi captains the side again this week in the continued absence of Nemani Nagusa, while the match day 23 also features three potential Drua debutants.

In the front row, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (1) and Samuela Tawake (2) retain their loosehead and tighthead prop roles respectively, while it’s a first start in Super Rugby Pacific for hooker Mesulame Dolokoto (2).

The locking partnership of Isoa Nasilasila (4) and Ratu Rotuisolia (5) remains intact, while the loose forward trio of captain Meli Derenalagi (6), Vilive Miramira (7) and Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (8) will start again.

Peni Matawalu (9) is at halfback, while it’s a first start this season for Teti Tela (10), fresh from his 14 points in Round 3.

Byrne has retained his centre pairing of Kalaveti Ravouvou (12) and Apisalome Vota (13), who was voted Man of the Match last week.

Vinaya Habosi (11) dons the left wing jumper for the fourth week straight, while Selestino Ravutaumada (14) is on the right wing and Baden Kerr (15) is at fullback.

Three potential debutants are among the replacements this week. Zuriel Togiatama (16) makes his first appearance on the bench, alongside other front row reserves in Jone Koroiduadua (17) and Manasa Saulo (18). Sorovakatini Tuifagalele (19) also makes the matchday 23 for the first time this season, while Joseva Tamani returns in jersey 20.

It’s also a welcome return to Super Rugby Pacific for Flying Fijians halfback Frank Lomani (21) who earns a place on the bench. Utility backs Jona Mataiciwa (22) and Onisi Ratave (23) complete the match day 23.

“We are looking forward to a great challenge against last year’s Australian champions the Reds. We have had a good week preparing ourselves for what we expect to be another physical game,” he said.

The Drua take on the Reds this Saturday (12 March) at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

The match kicks off at 6.45pm (local time).

FIJIAN DRUA (1-15): Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Mesulame Dolokoto, Samuela Tawake, Isoa Nasilasila, Ratu Rotuisolia, Meli Derenalagi (c), Vilive Miramira, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Peni Matawalu, Teti Tela, Vinaya Habosi, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Apisalome Vota, Selesitino Ravutaumada, Baden Kerr

RESERVES: Zuriel Togiatama, Jone Koroiduadua, Manasa Saulo, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, Joseva Tamani, Frank Lomani, Jona Mataiciwa, Onisi Ratave.