Flying Fijians team named for Pacific Battle

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Head Coach Simon Raiwalui has named the Flying Fijians team for the Pacific Battle match against Tonga at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday.

The match-day squad sees four uncapped players who have been hitting the top performance bar making it into the team.

Raiwalui said “It’s a very strong team with a mixture of experienced and young players. Congratulations to the players who will earn their first cap for Flying Fijians. They have worked hard to earn these spots and all they need to do is go on Saturday and put up an amazing show.”

France-based 27-year-old Lekima Tagitagivalu will debut at blindside flank guided by an experienced and robust Levani Botia at openside.

Raiwalui has given a huge task to Fijian Drua fly-half Caleb Muntz who starts ahead of Ben Volavola and Teti Tela.

Selestino Ravutaumada will also get a chance to unleash his speed on the wings while Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta could earn his first cap off the bench.

“I think Caleb earns that spot. He is a very creative fly-half and has played well in the Super Rugby Pacific so it’s going to be a big day for him and others” said Raiwalui.

Flying Fijians will be captained by 36 cap veteran Waisea Nayacalevu who made his debut for the national team in 2012.

Raiwalui further added “Waisea has led the Flying Fijians before during the last couple of campaigns. He is leading the team in terms of training on and off the field. He has got great support from the leadership group.”

Expect a powerful game upfront with experienced Peni Ravai, Sam Matavesi, and Mesake Doge named in the front row. Isoa Nasilasila and Temo Mayanavanua partner up at locks while Albert Tuisue is at number 8.

Josua Tuisova and Waisea Nayacalevu will control the play in the midfield while Jiuta Wainiqolo will be at right wing. Sireli Maqala is at full-back.

Fans will expect no loss of taste in the second spell with experienced players lined up on the bench to face a physical Tongan side.

Flying Fijians take on Tonga at 3.05 pm on Saturday.

Flying Fijians squad V Tonga

Peni Ravai
Sam Matavesi
Mesake Doge
Isoa Nasilasila
Temo Mayanavanua
Lekima Tagitagivalu
Levani Botia
Albert Tuisue
Frank Lomani
Caleb Muntz
Selestino Ravutaumada
Josua Tuisova
Waisea Nayacalevu {c}
Jiuta Wainiqolo
Sireli Maqala

Reserves

Tevita Ikanivere
Eroni Mawi
Luke Tagi
Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta
Viliame Mata
Peni Matawalu
Ben Volavola
Semi Radradra….PACNEWS

SOURCE: FRU/PACNEWS