Flying Fijians Call In The Big Guns For Pacific Nations Cup Opener

‘Once I saw his essay book placed underneath his bed one day. He wrote a story on his ambition to be a soldier… Today reminds me that book has come alive’
23 Jul 2019 13:27
Flying Fijians Call In The Big Guns For Pacific Nations Cup Opener
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians first five-eighth Ben Volavola. Photo: Simione Haravanua.

Head coach John McKee has recalled senior members in his Fiji Airways Flying Fijians squad for the opening encounter of the Pacific Nations Cup against Japan on Saturday.

Rugby World Cup veterans Leone Nakarawa, Ben Volavola and Manasa Saulo are among the nine players who flew out on Sunday to team up with the 27-man squad, many of whom played the Maori All Blacks at Rotorua last Saturday.

Nakarawa, 31, played at the 2011 RWC in New Zealand and later teamed up with Volavola and Saulo at the 2015 RWC in the UK.

After winning one and losing one in the Pacific Test Series against the Maori All Blacks, the test at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium should be perfect test with the RWC 59 days away.

The other six players are Peceli Yato, Viliame Mata, Semi Kunatani, Eroni Mawi and Levani Botia.

McKee might give team captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu time to recover after playing the last two games.

“We are taking a very strong squad for the important first round of the PNC,” McKee said.

Kamaishi stadium all set

The construction of two temporary stands at the new rugby stadium in Kamaishi, northeastern Japan, has been completed ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The two temporary stands, which accommodate just over 10,000 seats, have been installed for the two matches scheduled in the city, which was devastated by the earthquake-tsunami disaster in 2011.

Brave Blossoms new uniforms

The Japan Rugby Football Union revealed  new jerseys for its national team

The jerseys will make its official debut when Japan faces Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium in Iwate Prefecture on Saturday.

While the basic white and red design remained the same from the one from the 2015 World Cup, the jersey manufacturer, Canterbury of New Zealand Japan Inc., prepared three different types of jersey that will assist the players’ performances depending on their positions. There’s one for the front row, one for the second and back rows and the other for the backs.

Fiji squad

Forwards: Lee-Roy Atalifo, Campese Ma’afu, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Manasa Saulo, Kalivati Tawake, Mesulame Dolokoto, Ratu Vere Vugakoto, Sam Matavesi, Leone Nakarawa, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Albert Tuisue, Semi Kunatani, Viliame Mata, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato

Backs: Frank Lomani, Henry Seniloli, Alivereti Veitokani, Ben Volavola, Levani Botia, Waisea Nayacalevu, Jale Vatubua, Filipo Nakosi, Patrick Osbourne, Josh Matavesi, Kini Murimurivalu

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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