Fijian Drua Head Coach Mick Byrne has included 2020 Tokyo Olympics Gold Medalist Kalione Nasoko in his matchday 23 for the Super Rugby Pacific match against the Chiefs.
It has been a long-awaited appearance on the matchday squad for Nasoko following a series of injuries through the Drua’s inaugural season last year. He is a potential debut this weekend, providing cover for the midfield backs. It’s also making their first starts this season are Haereiti Hetet and Michael Naitokani, while Chris Minimbi makes a first appearance this season on the bench.
The front row sees Hetet (1) at loosehead prop and Samuela Tawake (3) at tighthead. Hooker Tevita Ikanivere (2) returns to the starting line-up this week and takes over the captaincy. Flying Fijians lock Isoa Nasilasila (4) will pair up with Leone Rotuisolia (5) in the second row. Joseva Tamani (6) remains at blindside flanker, while Elia Canakaivata (7) shifts position to openside flanker and Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (8) to anchors the scrum as number 8 loose forward.
In the backline, Peni Matawalu (9) remains at halfback to partner with Teti Tela (10) calling the shots at flyhalf. Tuidraki Samusamuvodre (11) holds on to his number 11 jersey on the left wing and will partner with Ilaisa Droasese (14) who comes on the right wing. A new midfield combination sees Naitokani (12) start at inside centre, with blockbusting centre Apisalome Vota (13) returning to the starting 15 outside him. Selestino Ravutaumada (15) completes the backline at fullback.
On the bench, Mesulame Dolokoto (16) covers for hooker, with Livai Natave (17) covering loosehead and Jone Tiko (18) backing up at tighthead. Chris Minimbi (19) and Rusiate Nasove (20) provide cover for the locks and backrowers respectively.
Philip Baselala (21) is replacement halfback, with Nasoko (22) set to provide spark off the bench for the backline alongside Kitione Taliga (23).
The Fijian Drua meets Chiefs at FMG Stadium in Hamilton at 7.05pm FJT.
SOURCE: FIJIAN DRUA/PACNEWS