Fiji Sports

Naqelevuki all fired up for Test debut

Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND . Stormers winger Sireli Naqelevuki wants to live up to the Super 14 standard when he makes his long awaited debut for the Flying Fijians
06 Jun 2008 12:00

Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND . Stormers winger Sireli Naqelevuki wants to live up to the Super 14 standard when he makes his long awaited debut for the Flying Fijians against Samoa at Churchill Park today.
The 27-year old marks his first appearance in the national 15s side after storming to the top of the Super 14 as the first Fijian playing for a South African side.
Naqelevuki, who has played alongside winning Rugby World Cup members of the South African side, believes Samoa will be his first big test.
He said he will see how the Pacific island neigbour fare in the physical battle after previously watching the Samoans from the sidelines.
“I always see them and they are quite physical. But I will see them first hand during the game,” Naqelevuki said.
National coach Ilivasi Tabua has shifted the hard hitting Kadavu lad to his usual role at centre where he will pair up with Saracens utility Kameli Ratuvou.
The former sevens player is renowned for his speed despite his huge built.
“I will want to play to the game plan and see what happens during the game, we can’t afford to underestimate the Samoans,” Naqelevuki said.
“I learned a lot with the Stormers, it was a good learning curve I played alongside a lot of senior Springbok players.”
Naqelevuki was an instant hit for Western Province in his first year in 2006 before he copped a three month suspension for drug abuse last year.
The former Suva centre has been on form ever since he broke into the Stormers run on side.
Naqelevuki and winger Timoci Nagusa will make their debut with uncapped Viliame Seuseu named on the reserves.
Gloucester’s X factor Akapusi Qera will come in as an impact player.
In the run-on side Fiji boasts 12 players form last years World Cup campaign.
Fiji will face Samoa at 2pm today after the Fiji Warriors and PNG match at 11am.



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