Fiji identify prolonged 33-man squad for check sequence towards All Blacks

Fiji head coach Vern Cotter has named an expanded 33-man squad forward of the check sequence with two video games subsequent month towards the All Blacks.

Many gamers who took half within the Autumn Nations Cup final 12 months have been taken on, together with Leicester Tigers star Nemani Nadolo, who was named to the squad alongside together with his team-mate and full-back Kini Murimurivalu.

The pair are one among many backline gamers – together with Melbourne Rebels half-back Frank Lomani, Perpignan’s first five-man Ben Volavola, Brive defender Seta Tuicuvu, and France-based midfielders Levani Botia and Waisea Nayacalevu – who performed within the makeshift European match, that may journey to New Zealand.

Within the forwards subject, the French-based Free strikers John Dyer and Kitione Kamikamica and the Edinburgh rear rower Mesulame Kunavula have been retained.

The 4 castles on the roster – Leone Nakarawa of Glasgow Warriors, Albert Tuisue of London Irish, Tevita Ratuva of Scarlets and Temo Mayanavanua of Lyon – have been additionally on the Autumn Nations Cup roster.

Entrance rowers Sam Matavesi (Northampton Saints), Mesu Dolokoto (Glasgow Warriors), Peni Ravai (Clermont), Eroni Mawi (Saracens) and ex-Maori All Blacks Prop Haereiti Hetet (Bay of A lot) have their locations within the squad.

Flying Fijians boss Cotter is with out a few of his greatest names for the Take a look at sequence, nevertheless, with the Bristol Bears star’s greatest omission being Semi Radradra, which is unavailable because of his involvement within the Premiership play-offs.

In Radradra’s absence, Botia will lead Fiji towards the All Blacks.

One other notable exclusion is the robust Lyon winger Josua Tuisova, who missed out regardless of not making it to the highest 14 play-offs this season.

Elsewhere, Cotter has made room for a lot of debutants, essentially the most well-known of that are Manasa Mataele, the Queensland Reds half-back, Moses Sorovi and the French trio Peniami Narisia, Vilimoni Botitu and Eneriko Buliruarua.

Fijian Sevens stars Onisi Ratave and Vinaya Habosi have been additionally fired from the nationwide sevens group simply over a month earlier than the Tokyo Olympics to affix Cotter’s roster.

A complete of 14 gamers play their membership rugby in France, 5 every from England and Scotland, three from Australia and two from New Zealand, whereas there are 4 domestically primarily based gamers.

Cotter stated that whereas it was a tough course of to place collectively a roster of gamers stationed world wide, he was pleased with the contingent he had named.

“It is an thrilling squad and an ideal alternative for the gamers who’ve educated effectively and performing inside the squad towards different confirmed worldwide gamers can be fruitful,” he stated.

“We sit up for bringing this group collectively and we’ve got to maintain issues easy.”

He added: “It was tough to place the roster collectively till the gamers completed their season within the high 14 and within the Premiership competitors. We’re very pleased with the combo as we’ve got some new gamers who will be a part of us and produce us pleasure.

“No matter occurs, we are going to get constructive suggestions for our gamers from each video games in order that we will advance to the 2023 World Cup later.”

Cotter acknowledged the All Blacks could be a severe problem for his group, however hopes Fiji can construct on their expertise of the Autumn Nations Cup.

“The All Blacks can be very powerful within the first check match, however they are going to be even more durable within the second check. So we’d like to have the ability to enlarge this group by maintaining issues easy, and being collectively would be the foremost key to that, ”he stated.

“It is about beginning the place we left off on the Autumn Nations Cup final November. Within the UK towards Georgia, we completed very positively.

“We have been annoyed to not play the opposite video games due to COVID-19 and we sit up for getting collectively and simply transferring on.

“Our first job can be to see what we did towards Georgia, how we will get higher, and with no larger check than All Blacks, to ensure we’re totally centered on our jobs.”

Fiji’s gamers and administration will spend two weeks in a managed isolation facility in Christchurch earlier than enjoying the All Blacks on July tenth at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin and on July 17 at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton.

Fiji squad face All Blacks in July


Peni Rawai
Eroni Mawi
Häreiti Hetet
Lukas Tagi
Mesake Doge
Leeroy Atalifo


Sam Matavesi
Peniami Narisia
Mesulam Dolokoto


Tevita Ratuva
Temo Mayanavanua
Leone Nakarawa
Albert Tuisue

Free strikers:

Mesulam Kunavula
Kitione Kamikamica
John Dyer
Peceli Yato


Frank Lomani
Moses Sorovi
Simione Kuruvoli


Ben Volavola
Teti Tela

Midfield participant:

Levani Botia
Vilimoni Botitu
Waisea Nayacalevu
Eneriko Buliruarua
Onisi Ratave


Nemani Nadolo
Vinaya Habosi
Manasa Mataele
Eroni sow


Seta Tuicuvu
Kini Murimurivalu

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