Analysis | Rugby | SPORTS

Nayacalevu, Matavesi, Doge On Track

Waisea Nayacalevu showed his class when it mattered. The Flying Fijians veteran centre scored Stade Francais’ two tries in their 22-14 win over Clermont in the French Top 14 clash
12 Oct 2021 11:15
Nayacalevu, Matavesi, Doge On Track
Waisea Nayacalevu trains with the Stade Francais rugby team. Barring any injury he is sure starter in the upcoming Test matches. Photo: Stade Francais

Waisea Nayacalevu showed his class when it mattered.

The Flying Fijians veteran centre scored Stade Francais’ two tries in their 22-14 win over Clermont in the French Top 14 clash yesterday morning.

Clermont’s only try came from Fijian-born France winger Alivereti Raka.

But Nayacalevu’s sterling performance will see him secure his spot for the Flying Fijians’ November Test matches against Spain, Wales and Georgia.

 

In a Gallagher Premiership clash, Flying Fijians hooker Sam Matavesi scored a try for Northampton Saints but they went down 26-20 to Wasps.

However, Saints also fielded veteran lock Api Rayuniyarawa while halfback Frank Lomani came in as a sub.

Also, tighthead prop Mesake Doge scored a try for Dragons in their 35-22 win over Connacht in the United Rugby Championship.

Doge has been impressive during the URC comp.

This means well for Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter, as most of our players have been playing consistently for their clubs in Europe.

Mesake Doge has been starting for Dragons in the United Rugby Championship.

Mesake Doge has been starting for Dragons in the United Rugby Championship.

 

The Fiji Rugby Union has decided due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Europe-based players are going to form the national team while arrangements are currently underway to fly in the coaches.

In an interesting twist, this could see the return of two Flying Fijian veterans to provide cover for the halfback and first five positions.

Lomani is the first choice-halfback while Nikola Matawalu who is with Montauban as a medical joker could be considered.

Racing 92’s Ben Volavola is our man for the No.10 spot with considerations to be given on Metuisela Talebula, who is with Soyaux Angouleme XV Chanente.

Matawalu last played for the Flying Fijians during the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan while Talebula was at fullback when the Flying Fijians beat France 21-14 in Paris on November 24, 2018.

 

 OUR POOL OF PLAYERS TO SELECT OUR SQUAD FROM

Props: Peni Ravai, Mesake Doge, Leeroy Atalifo, Mesake Doge, Eroni Mawi

Hooker: Sam Matavesi, Peniami Narisia

Locks: Tevita Ratuva, Temo Mayanavanua, Lekima Tagitagivalu, Tevita Cavubati, Api Ratuniyarawa, Leone Nakarawa.

Back row: Kitione Kamikamica, John Dyer, Albert Tuisue (pending on recovery of injury), Viliame Mata, Mesu Kunavula, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Peceli Yato, Sikeli Nabou.

Halfback: Frank Lomani, Nikola Matawalu

First five: Ben Volavola, Metuisela Talebula

Centres: Levani Botia, Waisea Nayacalevu, Eneriko Buliruarua, Vilimoni Botitu, Adrea Cocagi, Jale Vatubua, Petero Tuwai, Seva Galala, Apisai Naqaliva

Wings: Aminiasi Tuimaba, Josua Vici, Josua Tuisova, Nemani Nadolo, Eroni Sau, Savenaca Rawaca, Asaeli Tuivuaka, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Filipo Nakosi, Josua Raisuqe, Wame Naituvi, Iliesa Tavuyara, Setareki Bituniyata.

Fullback: Setareki Tuicuvu, Adrian Sanday.

But let’s take a look at our pool of players (table above) who have been performing consistently for their clubs and are in the running for the Flying Fijians squad.

This includes rising Adrian Sanday and elusive winger Wame Naituvi.

 

 

Uruguay in, Canada out
Meanwhile, Uruguay have qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France but Canada will miss out for the first time after a surprise defeat over two legs by Chile.

Canada won the first game 22-21 but were beaten 33-24 in the second as Chile kept alive their hopes of reaching the finals for the first time.

Chile now face the United States in a two-leg play-off for a place at the 2023 tournament in France.

 

The US were beaten 50-34 over two legs by Uruguay.

After losing 19-16 in the first leg, the South American side ran out 34-15 winners in the second.

Many Fijian fans would remember how the Uruguayans upset us 30-27 at the 2019 RWC in Kamaishi, Japan.

Uruguay will be in the same pool as hosts France, New Zealand and Italy at the 2023 World Cup while the winner of Chile v USA will go into Pool D with England, Japan, Argentina and Samoa.

 

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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