Fiji bank on experience
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Fiji Head Coach John McKee has named a very exposed side for the clash against Scotland on Saturday at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.
The Flying Fijians will look to open their Northern tour on a positive note, as they prepare for a physical encounter against the Scots who’ll be reeling after last weekend’s loss to Wales.
“The team are very much looking forward to the challenge against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday,” said McKee.
“We had success against Scotland in 2017 in Fiji but that counts for nothing here. We will have to bring our best game if we want to achieve success, as anything less will not be good enough against this good Scotland Team,”
Fiji marched into camp in Edinburgh on Monday and the Head Coach is pleased to see his team come together quickly, ready for the challenge ahead.
“Training this week has been good in preparation for this important Test Match against Scotland. The team can take confidence from our training & must now step up to impose our game plan under the intensity of Test Match rugby,”
There is plenty of first-class experience in the Fijian lineup and the side is prepared for a fierce contest up front against a polished Scottish outfit.
“Scotland have a strong set piece. This will be a key area of the game. We will need to match them in the scrum and lineout & stop their driving maul to be successful in this match,”
Campese Maafu (Leicester), Sam Matavesi (Cornish Pirates) and Manasa Saulo (London Irish) will be given the job of spearheading Fiji’s forward pack, with Racing 92’s Leone Nakarawa and Newcastle Falcons’ Tevita Cavubati locking in the tight 5, then Edinburgh favourite Viliame Mata rounds out a dynamic back row alongside newly appointed Captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu (Brive) and the explosive Peceli Yato (Clermont).
“Scotland showed last week against Wales that they are willing to shift the ball and play an up-tempo game. Our defence will have to be top class to deny Scotland opportunities to score,”
Clermont fullback Setareki Tuicuvu earns his debut white jersey at fullback and will be well supported by the experience of Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons), Jale Vatabua (Pau), Semi Radradra (Bordeaux) and Metui Talebula (Bayonne) as Fiji look to impose their own tempo and game style into the match at Murrayfield.
Fiji:15 Setareki Tuicuvu, 14 Metui Talebula, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Jale Vatabua, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Peceli Yato, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu (captain), 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Tevita Cavubati, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Campese Maafu.
Replacements: 16 Mesulame Dolokoto, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Kalivate Tawake, 19 Albert Tuisue, 20 Semi Kunatani, 21 Henry Seniloli, 22 Alivereti Veitokani, 23 Eroni Vasiteri
Date: Saturday, November 10
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 15.30 (15.30 GMT, 03.30 Sunday 11 Fiji Time)
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)