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Fijian Flyers Target ’23 World Cup

The 28-member Flying Fijians squad are taking the November Test series seriously as they want to cement their spot for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. The squad consisted
25 Oct 2021 21:15
Fijian Flyers Target ’23 World Cup
Northamptom Saints lock Api Ratuniyarawa scores a try against Worcester on October 22, 2021.

The 28-member Flying Fijians squad are taking the November Test series seriously as they want to cement their spot for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

The squad consisted of Europe- based players who are determined to impress Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter.

Although, Cotter will not be with the side due to COVID-19 restrictions, he is confident the players will play their role for the three test matches against Spain, Wales and Georgia.

“The players themselves are experienced and they will take a lead role in this to ensure there is continuity,” Cotter said.

“They will also have to stand up and take responsibilities as well for the campaign.

“I believe they will give their best shot because they are passionate about the team and they want to do well so that we have a better journey to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.”

The players rose to the occasion

in the weekend with a few old hands also impressing with the hope of forcing their way into the national squad.

Veteran Northampton Saints lock Api Ratuniyarawa scored a try as they walloped Worcester 66-10.

In its player ratings, the Northampton Chronicles gave the 35-year-old Fijian, 8 out of 10, stat- ing- “A strong showing from the Fi- jian lock as he got his hands on the ball time and again, showing great desire and awareness to take his team towards and over the line.”

Also, in the Saints starting line- up was Flying Fijians hooker Sam Matavesi, who was rated 7.5 out of 10; Always an important presence these days and he enjoyed the fast nature of the game in the forma- tive stages.

Halfback Frank Lomani came in as a sub and got 6.5 out of 10; ”The scrum-half has some shaky moments but he also has plenty of moments where you can see his class.

“He just needs more time to settle in and get used to Saints life.”

Burly winger Nemani Nadolo was the in the thick of things for Leicesters Tigers as they beat Sale Sharks 19-11 while Albert Tuisue was at No.8 for London Irish as they down Exeter Chiefs 31-17.

United Rugby

Viliame Mata started for Edin- burgh as they beat Zebre 27-10 in the United Rugby Championship clash.

Zebre played without Olympian Asaeli Tuivuaka while Mesulame Kunavula and prop Leeroy Atalifo came in as subs for Edinburgh.

Mata, Kunavula and Atalifo are sure starters for the Flying Fijians in the November Test matches.

Tighthead prop Mesake Doge Northampton Saints lock Api Ratuniyarawa scores a try against Worcester on October 22, 2021.

Johnny Dyer on the burst for Biarritz against Brive in the Top 14 comp.

was at his best by scoring a try for Dragons but they went down 31-29 to Cardiff.

Top 14

Flanker turned lock Johnny Dyer was named Player of the Match as Biarritz upset Brive 37-9 in the French Top 14 clash on Saturday.

Dyer scored a try and made numerous turnovers for Biarritz.

Also scoring a try for Biarritz was Fijian-born Wallabies winger Henry Speight after being set-up by Tevita Kuridrani.

Brive missed the services of Kitione Kamikamica who was injured while Tevita Ratuva, Se- vanaia Galala and Setareki Tuicuvu were in the starting line-up. Waisea Nayacalevu was moved back to centre by Stade Francais coaches to contain Lyon’s Josua Tuisova who had the No.13 jumper on. Stade Francais escaped with a 23-18 win while Temo Mayanavanua played well at lock for Lyon. Winger Josua Vici came in as a sub for Montpellier as they beat Racing 32-21 who did not include Ben Volavola in their Match 23 squad.
Alivereti Raka ran in two tries for Clermont as they beat Pau 42-20. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medallist Aminiasi Tuimaba re- turned to playing for Pau after serving his suspension over a red card incident. Also, veteran Jape Vatubua scored a try for Pau as he aims to win back his spot in theFlying Fijians squad.
Former Suva centre Api Naqalevu played at centre for Clermont while Pau had Fijian lock forward Lekima Tagitagivalu.

Vilimoni Botitu and Filipo Nakosi could not help Castres as they were thrashed 41-0 by defending champions Toulouse.

Results

Premiership Rugby: Northampton Saints 66-10 Worester, Leicester Tigers 19-11 Sale Sharks, Exeter Chiefs 21-33 London Irish, Gloucester 29-20 Newcastle Falcons.

URC: Cardiff 31-29 Dragons, Ze- bre 10-27 Edinburgh, Glasgow 15-31 Leinster, Ospreys 18-10 Munster, Scarlets 34-28 Benetton.

NZ NPC: Hawkes Bay 41-14 Wai- kato, Taranaki 47-35 Manawatu, Otago 22-20 Canterbury.

T14: Toulouse 41-0 Castres, Rac- ing 21-32 Montpellier, Biarritz 37-9 Brive, Stade Francais 23-18 Lyon, Bordeaux 39-13 Perpignan, Clermont 42-20 Pau.

 

Feedback: leone.cabenatabua@fijisun.com.fj



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