Flying Fijians Head Coach Simon Raiwalui continues to test combinations and rotate players as he again names a powerful squad for the test match against Japan on Saturday.

Eroni Mawi and Luke Tagi retain their places up front at props while Sam Matavesi comes in at hooker. In the second row, Isoa Nasilasila has been rested after two consecutive outings against Tonga and Samoa. Albert Tuisue and Temo Mayanavanua form the new pair of combination at locks while Lekima Tagitagivalu will partner up with Kitione Kamikamica on the flanks. Meli Derenalagi shifts to number eight for this weekend.

In search for more game time, Simione Kuruvoli again starts at half-back while experienced Ben Volavola returns at fly-half. Impressive winger Selestino Ravutaumada starts his third straight match. He will be on the left wing while Jiuta Wainiqolo comes in on the right. Sireli Maqala is at full-back.

There is no loss of power and experience on the bench with top seasonal players such as Tevita Ikanivere, Peni Ravai, Joseva Tamani, and Frank Lomani on the impact list.

Coach Raiwalui said “We have had a quick turnaround following our match against Samoa last weekend. As usual, we are still in the preparation phase for Rugby World Cup hence we are testing and rotating our players at certain positions.”

He further added “It’s good to have Ben Volvavola back in the squad. He was nursing a niggling injury for the past few weeks and his experience at number 10 will be a boost against Japan.

Raiwalui said Japan will be a tough team to beat at home.

“We know Japan is a good team, plays very high tempo of the game and very organised so we are just looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

Photo: FRU/Facebook

Flying Fijians match V Japan

1. Eroni Mawi

2. Sam Matavesi

3. Luke Tagi

4. Albert Tuisue

5. Temo Mayanavanua

6. Lekima Tagitagivalu

7. Kitione Kamikamica

8. Meli Derenalagi

9. Simione Kuruvoli

10. Ben Volavola

11. Selestino Ravutaumada

12. Vilimoni Botitu

13. Waisea Nayacalevu {C}

14. Jiuta Wainiqolo

15. Sireli Maqala


16. Tevita Ikanivere

17. Peni Ravai

18. Mesake Doge

19. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta

20. Joseva Tamani

21. Frank Lomani

22. Teti Tela

23. Ilaisa Droasese

Flying Fijians play Japan at 10.15pm {FJT} on Saturday.