Rugby | SPORTS

Tuisova, Botitu Top Contenders For No.12

With the injured Levani Botia still not playing for La Ro­chelle, an interesting battle looms on who could wear the No.12 jumper for the Flying Fijians in the November Test matches in Europe.
03 Oct 2022 18:04
Tuisova, Botitu Top Contenders For No.12
Josua Tuisova dubbed ‘The Bus’ (right) with his Lyon’s team-mates. Tuisova has been playing at second five eight. Photo: Lyon

With the injured Levani Botia still not playing for La Ro­chelle, an interesting battle looms on who could wear the No.12 jumper for the Flying Fijians in the November Test matches in Europe.

The top contenders are Josua Tuiso­va, who is playing at second five eight for Lyon along with Vilimoni Botitu of Castres. The duo have been play­ing regularly.

Tuisova, although copping a yellow card managed to score a try in Lyon’s 43-20 loss to Clermont, last Satur­day. Lanky lock Temo Mayanavanua had a quiet game for Lyon but Fiji-born France winger, Alivereti Raka, scored three tries for Clermont while his fourth try was disallowed.

Botitu played well for Castres but they lost 14-10 to Perpignan.

Vilimoni Botitu plays for Castres in the Top 14 competition. Photo: Castres

Vilimoni Botitu plays for Castres in the Top 14 competition. Photo: Castres

Also, in the running for the No.12 jumper is Adrea Cocagi, who came in as a sub and scored a try for Castres but it was too late.

Cocagi in an earlier interview with SUNsports indicated that he prefers to play at second five eight. He was moved to centre to accommodate Bo­titu at No.12.

Veteran lock Leone Nakarawa was moved back to No.8 and was not at his usual best for Castres.

Also, to be considered for the No,12 jumper are veteran Jale Vatubua who plays for Pau and Bayonne’s En­eriko Buliruarua.

Barring any injury, Toulon winger Jiuta Wainiqolo is a definite starter for the Flying Fijians. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medallist was at his best scoring a try in Tou­lon’s 34-17 win over Pau.

Wainiqolo who combined well with veteran centre, Waisea Nayacalevu, has been scoring tries in almost every Top 14 match he played in this season.

Seta Tuicuvu had the last laugh when the Brive utility was pushed to centre to contain Bayonne’s Sireli Maqala. Brive came out 25-22 victors.

Making their Top 14 debut was block busting winger Asaeli Tuivuaka for Racing 92 but they were beaten 24-19 by La Rochelle.

Stade Francais fielded flanker Ve­resa Ramototabua in their 15-10 loss to Bordeaux.

Veteran Toulon and Flying Fijians centre Waisea Nayacalevu (with ball) makes his move against Pau in the Top 14 match on Saturday. Nayacalevu and winger Jiuta Waqaniqolo are sure starters for the November tour. Photo: Toulon

Veteran Toulon and Flying Fijians centre Waisea Nayacalevu (with ball) makes his move against Pau in the Top 14 match on Saturday. Nayacalevu and winger Jiuta Waqaniqolo are sure starters for the November tour. Photo: Toulon

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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