Fijian Drua Head Coach Mick Byrne has named his squad for the round 13 crunch match against NSW Waratahs this Saturday, in what will be the side’s final away game in the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific.
The major highlight is the first ever inclusion of Flying Fijians prop Mesake Doge in the matchday 23 for the Drua.
Doge returns to competitive rugby after a long injury break. He will take his place on the bench and could be a potential debut this weekend.
Byrne has meanwhile retained the starting front row from last week, with Haereiti Hetet (1) at loosehead, Jone Koroiduadua (3) at tighthead and Tevita Ikanivere at hooker. In the second row, Isoa Nasilasila (4) again partners Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (5). Joseva Tamani (6) starts at blindside flanker with Vilive Miramira (7) on the openside. Captain Meli Derenalagi (8) will be the number 8 loose forward.
A change in halves this week sees Peni Matawalu (9) start the match at halfback alongside Caleb Muntz (10) who is at flyhalf. Taniela Rakuro (11) is on the left wing and partners the returning Selestino Ravutaumada (14) who is on the wing. Kalaveti Ravouvou (12) stays at inside centre with Iosefo Masi (13) outside him. Ilaisa Droasese (15) completes the starting 15 at fullback.
On the bench, Zuriel Togiatama (16) who is cover for hooker, Emosi Tuqiri (17) returns to the squad this week to cover at loosehead, while Doge could make his much awaited debut (18) at replacement tighthead prop. Etonia Waqa (19) and Elia Canakaivata (20) will provide back up for the middle and back rows respectively. Young Philip Baselala (21) takes his place on the bench this week as replacement halfback, while Kemu Valetini (22) and the blockbusting Apisalome Vota (23) also return to the matchday squad to cover for the backline.
The Drua face NSW Waratahs at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday at 9.45pm FJT.
SOURCE: FIJIAN DRUA/PACNEWS