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Props For Mitre 10

Props For Mitre 10
Tom Wood of England is tackled by Peni Ravai at last year’s Rugby World Cup clash in London. Photo: Zimbio
August 11
16:09 2016

Vodafone Flying Fijians prop forwards Leeroy Atalifo and Peni Ravai will play in the Mitre 10 Cup, New Zealand top provincial competition.

Atalifo will play for Canterbury and Ravai will feature for Southland.

Canterbury head coach Scott Robertson has also named Ben Volavola and Poasa Waqanibau in his 41-man squad, featuring 13 new players, to compete in this year’s Mitre 10 Cup.

Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee said playing in a top rugby nations like New Zealand is the way forward for Fiji.

“This is the pathway for us moving forward,” McKee said.

“Hopefully they will play Super Rugby in NZ as it will be easy for us to keep track of them.”

Former All Blacks Robertson, who will replace Todd Blackadder as Crusaders coach in 2017, spoke highly of the Fijian signings.

“Leeroy brings international experience to the group, having played for Fiji in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. He is a dynamic prop and a strong scrummager, so we can’t wait to see what he can add to the group.

“Our other new outside back, Waqanibau also comes out of the Academy and promises some real firepower out wide. Poasa was part of the Fijian U20 side at the 2014 Junior World Championship, and the Fijian Warriors team at the 2015 Pacific Nations Cup.  Since moving to New Zealand he has represented Wanganui in the Heartland Championship before making his way into the Crusaders Academy.

“Fresh out of a season with the Crusaders is our new first-five, Ben Volavola. Ben is a quality player who also contributes some useful first-class and test experience to the squad, having played for Fiji in the Rugby World Cup.”

Ravai started his rugby career as an outside back before being moved into the forwards where he can cover both prop and hooker.

The 25-year-old is believed to be the only front-rower to ever play for the Fiji sevens team on the international circuit. He is regarded as a ball-running front-rower.

Ravai has played 13 tests for the Fiji 15s team including four games at the 2015 World Cup in England.


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