Fiji Sports

Fiji, Samoa name PNC squads

Written By : Sun Fiji Sportsdesk. With less than two weeks to go before they kick off the IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2008 at Churchill Park in Lautoka on June
28 May 2008 12:00

Written By : Sun Fiji Sportsdesk. With less than two weeks to go before they kick off the IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2008 at Churchill Park in Lautoka on June 7, Fiji and Samoa have both named squads which combine the best of their overseas and locally based players.
Fiji coach Ilie Tabua has named nine of the players who started their Rugby World Cup 2007 quarter-final with South Africa in his 26-man squad, including the likes of charging back row Akapusi Qera and flying wing Filimoni Delasau.
However Tabua has also given locally based players an opportunity to experience Test match rugby, many of whom were involved in disappointing campaigns for the Fiji Barbarians and Fiji Warriors in the recent IRB Pacific Rugby Cup.
The Warriors and Barbarians occupied the bottom two places in the standings of the six-team tournament, winning only three games between them as the title went to Tautahi Gold with an 11-3 defeat of Upolu Samoa in Apia last Friday.
Samoa’s new national coach Niko Palamo has selected the majority of Upolu Samoa’s squad who experienced heartbreak in that Pacific Rugby Cup grand final in his first training squad of 42 players for the Pacific Nations Cup.
Among these players are Upolu Samoa captain Muliufi Salanoa, scrum half Notise Tauafao, wing David Lemi, centre Gasolo Salima and fly half Roger Warren – the leading point scorer in the Pacific Rugby Cup with 41 across six matches.
Palamo’s squad also features a number of players currently on duty with Samoa Sevens in the UK, including Uale Mai, Lolo Lui and Reupena Levasa who lifted the Emirates Airline London Sevens title at Twickenham on Sunday after beating Fiji 19-14 in the final.
The opening weekend of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2008 also sees New Zealand Maori make their debut by hosting Tonga in Albany on 7 June, before Australia A under new coach Phil Mooney travel to Fukuoka to face Japan a day later.
Fiji squad:
Forwards: Graham Dewes, Sunia Koto, Kele Leawere, Wame Lewaravu, Semisi Naevo, Akapusi Qera, Jone Railomo, Aca Ratuva, Ifereimi Rawaqa, Vereniki Sauturaga, Viliame Seuseu, Alefoso Yalayalatabua, Netani Talei, Deryck Thomas.
Backs: Filimoni Delasau, Vereniki Goneva, Maleli Kunavore, Waisea Luveniyali, Timoci Nagusa, Sireli Naqelevuki, Kameli Ratuvou, Jonetani Ralulu, Mosese Rauluni, Dan Rawaqa, Michael Tagicakibau, Aporosa Vata.
Samoa training squad
Forwards: Mahroni Schwalger, Loleni Tafunai, Census Johnstone, Hiroshi Tea, Evile Telea, Taligatuli Moala, Muliufi Salanoa, James Johnstone, Filipo Levi, Chad Slade, Luti Pese, Jonathan Fa’amatuainu, Ruperake Petaia, Kane Thompson, Iosefa Tekori, Daniel Leo, Raymond Stowers, Bell Sasulu, Alapasa Cordtz, Ati A’a, George Stowers, Henry Tuilagi.
Backs: Notise Tauafao, Uale Mai, Dominic Gabriel, Roger Warren, Ki Anufe, Neli Sasulu, Samasoni Moala, Reupena Levasa, Eliota Sapolu-Fuimaono, Anitelea Tuilagi, Solomona Tavita, Gasolo Salima, Pale Toelupe, David Lemi, Esera Lauina, Peni Sapau, Henry Fa’afili, Lolo Lui, John Vui, Gavin Williams. – IRB




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