The Fijian Drua have named their squad for the crucial Super Rugby Pacific clash against the Melbourne Rebels this Friday.

Head Coach Mick Byrne has made a few changes to matchday 23 this week as the team seeks their first away win of the season. In welcome news, hooker Tevita Ikanivere has been cleared to play this week and named in the run-on team.

In the starting 15, powerful front rower Haereiti Hetet (1) retains his place at loosehead prop with Ikanivere (2) at hooker. Veteran prop Mesake Doge (3) remains at tighthead prop while locks Mesake Vocevoce (4) and Leone Rotuisolia (5) also retain their spots in the middle row. Vilive Miramira (6) returns to the starting line-up at blindside flanker, replacing the injured Etonia Waqa, while Kitione Salawa (7) starts at openside flanker again this week. Captain Meli Derenalagi is back in the matchday squad and starts at number 8.

Frank Lomani (9) starts at halfback alongside Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula (10) who is at flyhalf. Epeli Momo (11) gets another start on the left wing this week with Selestino Ravutaumada (14) on the right. Apisalome Vote (12) retains his place at inside centre, with Iosefo Masi (13) outside him. Ilaisa Droasese (15) completes the starting 15 at fullback.

On the bench, Byrne has named Zuriel Togiatama (16) covering at hooker, with props Livai Natave (17) and Jone Koroiduadua (18) as loosehead and tighthead props respectively. An impactful middle and backrow pair of Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (19) and Elia Canakaivata (20) are expected to inject power late in the game. The replacement backline sees Simione Kuruvoli (21) as back-up halfback, with young Waqa Nalaga (22) covering for the centres. Taniela Rakuro (23) completes the matchday 23.

The Drua vs Melbourne Rebels match will kick off at 8.35pm on Friday at AAMI Park.

First 15

1.Haereiti Hetet

2.Tevita Ikanivere

3.Mesake Doge

4.Mesake Vocevoce

5.Leone Rotuisolia

6.Vilive Miramira

7.Kitione Salawa

8.Meli Derenalagi (c)

9.Frank Lomani

10.Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula

11.Epeli Momo

12.Apisalome Vota

13.Iosefo Masi

14.Selestino Ravutaumada

15.Ilaisa Droasese


16.Zuriel Togiatama

17.Livai Natave

18.Jone Koroiduadua

19.Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta

20.Elia Canakaivata

21.Simione Kuruvoli

22.Waqa Nalaga

23.Taniela Rakuro.