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Flying Fijians coach names first XV for 2019 season opener
5:12 pm GMT+12, 11/07/2019, Fiji

Fiji Rugby Head Coach John McKee has named his first run on side for the 2019 season as the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians kick start their RWC campaign with a two match Pacific Series test against the Maori All Blacks at Suva’s ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
 
McKee said “It’s a very important game for us this week, only to start our campaign well for players to take their opportunity and show good form from the get go.”
 
London Irish stars Albert Tuisue and Alivereti Veitokani have been given the nod for to start ahead of some more senior players in the squad, for this opening clash.
 
In-form hooker Sam Matavesi leads the front row with props Peni Ravai and Manasa Saulo.
 
Skipper Dominiko Waqaniburotu takes charge of an exciting forward pack consisting of Tuisue, Leone Nakarawa, Viliame Mata and Semi Kunatani.
 
“There are a lot of talented players right across the park in the team,”
 
“The important thing for these players is to find their combinations quickly and work within our systems in both attack & defence” says McKee.
 
“Adding to the experience of skipper Dominiko Waqaniburotu in the back row are Viliame Mata, who is really developing as a world class number eight and Semi Kunatani, who although not the typical backrow player will add more fire power in the team,” McKee said.
 
The new midfield pair of Lepani Botia and Waisea Nayacalevu will be put to the test this weekend while Alivereti Veitokani will make his start at fullback with Eroni Sau and Josua Tuisova on the wings.
 
“It’s good to see Waisea Nayacalevu back in the Flying Fijians colours. He has been out of the group for couple of campaigns now due to some untimely injuries over the past 2 European seasons” McKee said.
 
McKee added “He gets an opportunity in the team paired with Botia in the midfield. The up and coming Frank Lomani at half-back and experienced Ben Volavola at fly-half complete the backline.”
 
Flying Fijians Squad
 
    Peni Ravai
    Sam Matavesi
    Manasa Saulo
    Albert Tuisue
    Leone Nakarawa
    Dominiko Waqaniburotu
    Semi Kunatani
    Viliame Mata
    Frank Lomani
    Ben Volavola
    Eroni Sau
    Lepani Botia
    Waisea Nayacalevu
    Josua Tuisova
    Alivereti Veitokani
 
Reserves
 
    Mesulame Dolokoto
    Eroni Mawi
    Kalivati Tawake
Api Ratuniyarawa
Nemani Nagusa
Henry Seniloli
Sevanaia Galala
Patrick Osbourne
 
Flying Fijians face the Maori All Blacks at 3.00pm at ANZ Stadium in Suva on Saturday.

SOURCE: FIJI RUGBY/PACNEWS
 


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