Flying Fijians forward Joseva Tamani says he had to battle against all odds to earn a spot in the match day 23 against Samoa this weekend in Apia.

Tamani said he is ready to take on a potential debut in the second-row position despite overcoming a challenging injury.

The setback initially left him crestfallen, and it seemed as though his dreams of donning the national jersey were shattered.

However, the Drua man said that instead of accepting defeat, he decided to face adversity head-on and began his arduous road to recovery.

“I was not happy at first, but then I said to myself, I wanted to make a team, so I tried hard, tried my best to get out of rehab. I did all I could, and I’m here, and I’m happy.”

Tamani also said that being surrounded by some of his sporting heroes during training has been exciting, and they have helped him during the past two weeks.

The 26-year-old said they know how difficult it will be to play Samoa on their home turf, but they have worked hard during training and are just targeting a win.

Meanwhile, another four players will make their first appearances for the Flying Fijians against Samoa in the July Test Series.

Fijian Drua stars Iosefo Masi, Meli Derenalagi, Vilive Miramira and Ilaisa Droasese will all start while Joseva Tamani is expected to debut off the bench.

Masi forms the new midfield pair with Semi Radradra, Droasese at fullback while Derenalagi and Miramira are the flankers.
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Only three players that started against Tonga have been retained including Selestino Ravutaumada, Caleb Muntz and Isoa Nasilasila.

11 Fijian Drua reps are in the run on side and four on the reserves.

Radradra is the skipper replacing Waisea Nayacalevu.

Simione Kuruvoli gets the nod at halfback after sitting out the season due to injury.

Muntz is at flyhalf with the back three of Ravutaumada, Kalaveti Ravouvou and Droasese.

A new front row of Eroni Mawi, Tevita Ikanivere and Luke Tagi starts this week.

Nasilasila and Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta are the locks while Viliame Mata packs down at number eight.

Fiji plays Samoa at 2pm on Saturday in Apia.