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Up For Task

Vodafone Flying Fijians coach John McKee has selected Nemani Nadolo to play against France on Sunday despite earlier reports saying he will be missing the first test match because of
07 Nov 2014 14:34
Up For Task

Vodafone Flying Fijians coach John McKee has selected Nemani Nadolo to play against France on Sunday despite earlier reports saying he will be missing the first test match because of an ankle injury.

Nadolo will start from the bench after he recovered from the injury he picked up while playing for his Japanese club NEC Green Rockets.
McKee said the new additions to the pack Masi Matadigo and Lepani Botia would be a boost for the team.

“We have selected the strongest team possible to take on France,” McKee said.

“The forward pack from the June tests is boosted by the addition of Masi Matadigo who has been in very good form for Lyon in France’s Top 14.

“Lepani Botia comes in at inside centre, he is also playing Top 14 and can mix the direct game with the passing game. Nemani Nadolo has only joined the team this week because of some injury issues delaying his arrival, but I expect him to have big impact when he enters the game from the bench.”

The only player so far who will not be with the team when they face France is Josh Matavesi who was injured playing for Ospreys (Wales) last Friday.

He will re-join the squad on Sunday in Cardiff and will be available for the Wales match.
With the new inclusions for the French side, McKee said they planned to put them under pressure at most times.

“France have three new players and some new combinations.

“If we can put them under pressure, they will find it hard to find their rhythm, but I expect them to play very direct rugby at us and try to use their big forwards to dominate the game.”

Meanwhile, with the English clubs being very accommodating in releasing Fijian players for the test match, McKee is positive that they will do the same come the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

McKee said clubs understood the International Rugby Board Regulation 9 where it stated the terms and conditions about players being released to play for their home countries.

“The clubs know the Regulation 9 and follow it.”

“With the Rugby World Cup next year, all the players want to be involved so clubs should not put pressure on players to be unavailable.” McKee said.

The Test team:

The Vodafone Flying Fijians play against France on Sunday morning at 5.45am. Team: 1. Campese Ma’afu, 2, Sunia Koto, 3, Manasa Saulo, 4. Leone Nakarawa, 5. Api Ratuniyarawa, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 7. Akapusi Qera ©, 8. Masi Matadigo, 9.Nikola Matawalu, 10.Jonetani Ralulu. 11.Alipate Ratini, 12.Lepani Botia, 13. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 14. Watisoni Votu, 15.Metusela Talebula. Reserves: Viliame Veikoso, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Isei Colati, Nemia Soqeta, Malakai Ravulo, Henry Seniloli, Nemani Nadolo, Timoci Nagusa.

Feedback: justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

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