Fiji testing depth against the Maori All Blacks with the World Cup looming

Fiji testing depth against the Maori All Blacks with the World Cup looming

The Flying Fijians head into their test match of the year against the Maori All Blacks having ended a 62-year-long drought against the Kiwi side last week.


Fiji has just four games remaining, including this weekend, before they open their Rugby World Cup campaign against Australia in Japan on 21 September. This weekend will be a massive test for John McKee's Fijians with the head coach opting to test his depth and make ten changes from the side that beat the Maori's last weekend.

The likes of Ben Volavola, Frank Lomani, Leone Nakarawa, Bill Mata, Vereniki Goneva, Semi Radradra, Levani Botia and Josua Tuisova are among the superstar names who have either been rested or miss the clash through injury.

The decision to rest these stars could bode well for McKee as a win without their big names will give the Islanders confidence and will extend their winning streak to three games. Three wins doesn't sound like much but the quality of the two sides those three wins is a massive factor after they beat France and the Maori All Blacks.

McKee's side will need to rest their stars in at least one of their pool stage matches with the clash against Uruguay arguably the perfect opportunity after a tough opening game against the Wallabies and testing games against Georgia and Wales following. Momentum in a World Cup year is also key and with games against Japan, Canada and Samoa following this weekend's clash, Fiji could head into the World Cup having won seven games in a row!

This weekend and the clash against Japan a week later will arguably be their most testing encounters.

Although McKee has made a number of chances, this is not exactly a 'Fiji B team', the likes of Kini Murimurivalu, Patrick Osborne, Flipo Nakosi, Jale Vatubua, Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Api Ratuniyarawa will be looking to cement starting roles and could produce performances to lead their side to victory.

 Flying Fijians Squad:

  1. Campese Ma’afu
  2. Veremalua Vugakoto
  3. Lee-Roy Atalifo
  4. Tevita Ratuva
  5. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa
  6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu
  7. Mosese Voka
  8. Nemani Nagusa
  9. Henry Seniloli
  10. Alivereti Veitokani
  11. Filipo Nakosi
  12. Jale Vatubua
  13. Waisea Nayacalevu
  14. Patrick Osbourne
  15. Kini Murimurivalu

Reserves

16. Samuel Matavesi

17. Joeli Veitayaki

18. Luke Tagi

19. Albert Tuisue

20. John Dyer

21. Serupepeli Vularika

22. Sevanaia Galala

23. Josh Matavesi

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