SPORTS

Talemaitoga, Veikoso To Join Flying Fijians

Two members of the Vodafone Flying Fijians squad are going to join the team days before their test match against France on Saturday. The Fiji Rugby Union indicated that New
05 Nov 2014 12:51
Talemaitoga, Veikoso  To Join Flying Fijians

Two members of the Vodafone Flying Fijians squad are going to join the team days before their test match against France on Saturday.

The Fiji Rugby Union indicated that New Zealand-based hooker Tuapati Talemaitoga flies out of the country today to join the team.

“Earlier on Monday, hooker Bill Veikoso also flew to France to join the team,” it was confirmed yesterday.
The reason for the delay was because of the processing of their visa application.

Also FRU media officer Talei Mow said that France-based speedster Samisoni  Viriviri would not be joining the team as it was speculated after Napolioni Nalaga withdrew because of family commitments.

“Yes Viriviri is a non-travelling reserve but as of now we’ve not heard anything from head coach John McKee, which means he is not in the team,” she said.

Meanwhile, AFP reported that Bayonne fullback Scott Spedding became the fifth South African to be called up to the France squad during the Philippe Saint-André era.

The 28-year-old, who was born in Krugersdorp, joins Racing Metro loose forwards Antonie Claassen and Bernard le Roux as well as Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott and Clermont prop Daniel Kotze to be called up to Les Bleus since Saint-André took over as coachafter the 2011 World Cup.

Spedding replaces the injured Brice Dulin in the squad for France’s November tests against Fiji, Australia and Argentina.
Although born and raised in South Africa, Spedding’s selection should not be categorised as just another mercenary playing for a foreign country.

Indeed, he become a French citizen earlier this year having moved to Brive from the Sharks back in 2008 and his heart is clearly with France. Spedding joined Bayonne in 2012 and since his arrival the full-back has been consistently one of the top performers for his club, along with being one of the best 15s in the country. Professionally, he has played more seasons in the Top 14 than in his native South Africa. A debut year with the Lions in 2005 preceded his time in Durban before the move to Europe.

An emotional Spedding thanked his parents, and in particular his father, for making the sacrifices that have seen him earn his first call-up by his adopted country, and said he burst into tears when he got the news from France assistant coach Patrice Lagisquet (nicknamed the ‘Bayonne Express’ in his playing days as a quicksilver winger).

“My first thought was for my family. I am thinking about my father in particular,” said Spedding.

“My father was always there for me. This is thanks to them (parents) because they made huge sacrifices for me. This is an unbelievable moment.”

Spedding is likely to play against Fiji as his main rival for the position, Maxime Medard, is also struggling to be fit, having suffered a groin injury in Toulouse’s Top 14 win over Lyon last Saturday.

Feedback:  ajeshr@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: