Vodafone Fijiana 15’s Head Coach Inoke Male has unveiled his 30-member squad for the upcoming inaugural WXV 3 Tournament scheduled to take place in Dubai next week.
This squad announcement includes five players making their debut, with three of whom are from overseas clubs and two from the local scene.
The debutants are Penina Turova, Mary Kanace, Iva Sauira, Una Lalabalavu and Loraini Senivutu.
Penina Turova joins the team from Worcester Warriors, an English Premier Club, while Mary Kanace is from the Linwood Rugby Club in New Zealand, and Iva Sauira plays for the Tasman Mako Womens in the Farah Palmer Cup.
Coach Inoke Male expressed his enthusiasm for these newcomers, stating that they bring a breath of fresh air to the team, which is much needed as they prepare for the WXV 3 Tournament.
Male further mentioned, “It’s good to have the three international players training with us in Fiji; they have been in camp for a few months and are integrating well with the local players.”
“They are all standout performers in their respective clubs, and we are grateful that they are also willing to wear the white jersey,” he said.
Several local players who made their debut in the Vodafone Fijiana vs Japan test match last month have retained their spots in the squad.
Notable names include Salanieta Nabuli, Tiana Robanakadavu, Unaisi Lalabalavu, Salanieta Kinita, Merewairita Neivosa, and Atelaite Buna.
Additionally, Rooster Chicken Fijiana Drua captain Bitila Tawake is making her return to rugby after a short break, along with the robust center Vani Arei.
Coach Male emphasized the extensive preparations made over the past months to build a formidable team for the WXV 3 Tournament, which also serves as a qualifier for the 2025 Rugby World Cup.
“We have a cohesive and determined group, and our primary focus is to make a significant impact in Dubai,” he added.
The WXV 3 Tournament will feature the Vodafone Fijiana 15’s, Colombia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Spain, and Kenya.
The competition will adopt a cross-pool format, with the fate of the bottom-ranked team determined by a playoff against the next best side, as per the World Rugby Women’s Rankings.
The tournament is scheduled to commence on October 13th at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai.
Loraini Senivutu *
Penina Turova *
Adi Fulori Rotagavira
Jennifer Goodsir Ravutia
Mary Kanace *
Iva Sauira *.
13th October: Fiji v Colombia
20th October: Fiji v Spain
27th October: Fiji v Kazakhstan