The Flying Fijians coaching staff is expected to make minimal changes to their matchday 23 against Portugal in their last Rugby World Cup pool match.
Head coach Simon Raiwalui is highly likely to field our top side again for this important clash as our quarterfinal hopes depend on it.
Winger Semi Radradra is expected to be rested this week due to injury as he didn’t train with the team at the Lormont club ground on Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, captain Waisea Nayacalevu who missed Tuesday’s session was back running with the side.
Coach Simon Raiwalui is happy with the healthy competition in the squad knowing seven players have yet to make their World Cup appearance.
Raiwalui and his assistant coaches have another tough selection but he said consistency will be the key for them.
“It is a tough one, we’ve been looking for consistency in terms of our selection and obviously very aware that some players have not played as well so they’re pushing hard for selection and we’ve put the challenge out this week to go out and win their spot, it’s obviously a very important game for us.”
The former national captain says no one is guaranteed a spot after last weekend’s clash with Georgia.
“I think a lot of our players didn’t have a good game so we assessed why we were a little bit off, there’s no pointing fingers at certain positions and we’ve challenged the team at trainings to earn your spots so we’ve put the challenge out.”
Meanwhile, Flying Fijians have secured their place at the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.
Fiji side has automatically qualified with Wales and Australia from pool C.
This is after Georgia and Portugal failed to qualify for the quarter-finals and can’t gain automatic qualification for 2027 as they are on three and two points respectively with one game to play in pool C.
Wales have already reached the 2023 quarter-finals and the other place will be secured by either Australia or Fiji after the final round of pool play this weekend.
The top three teams from each group automatically qualifies for the next World Cup.
Fiji will face Portugal in their last pool match on Monday and head coach Simon Raiwalui says another mammoth task awaits.
He said Portugal have some good players as they stepped up against Australia.
“They play a very good brand of rugby and they’ve showed that at this World Cup, they’ve got a very exciting back three and their forwards are really coming into the round as well, as we saw in the Wallabies game they put pressure on the Wallabies at scrum time, put pressure on the defensive lineout as well, we’re expecting a really good match.”
Raiwalui will name his team to play Portugal on Friday.
SOURCE: FBC SPORTS/PACNEWS