Fiji make one change for Wales clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Fiji coach John McKee has made one change to his starting XV for the Pool D match against Wales in Oita Stadium on Wednesday.
Viliame Mata returns at No.8 in place of Peceli Yato, who recovered from a head injury he received in the opening match against Australia to anchor the scrum in the impressive 45-10 win over Georgia. Yato moves to the bench.
Ben Volavola retains his place at flyhalf to face Wales for the second World Cup in a row. Volavola kicked eight points when the teams met in Cardiff in 2015 when Wales won 23-13.
The 28-year-old is Fiji’s top points scorer at this World Cup, and four more points on Wednesday would lift him above Severo Koroduadua into second place on the all-time Fijian points list. Volavola is on 37 points, with Nicky Little out in front on 125.
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT 📢
Our lineup for the match against Wales at Oita Stadium on Wednesday
Not much changes from last weeks game, the boys recover well after their last game, and went back to business as they continue to build on the momentum as they prepare to face Wales. pic.twitter.com/UyHgQOozYB
— Fiji Rugby Union (@fijirugby) October 7, 2019
Lock Leone Nakarawa and prop Campese Ma’afu will move into joint second in the Fiji all-time list of World cup appearances. This will be their 12th appearances at World Cups, moving them level with Akapusi Qera. Little still holds the outright record with 14 appearances across four tournaments.
If Leone Nakarawa makes one more carry, he will hold the outright record for Fiji in World Cup history. Nakarawa has 104 carries overall in World games, the joint-most for a Fijian player at the World Cup, alongside Sisa Koyamaibole.
Fiji are third in the pool, a position that would guarantee them qualification for World Cup 2023 in France. Victory over Wales would put them into contention for a quarterfinal place, a feat the Fijians last achieved in 2007, when they beat Wales 38-34 in Nantes to reach the last eight.
Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Lepani Botia, 11 Semi Radradra, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Semi Kunatani, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu (captain), 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Tevita Cavubati, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Samuel Matavesi, 1 Campese Ma’afu.
Replacements: 16 Mesulame Dolokoto, 17 Eroni Mawi, 18 Peni Ravai, 19 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 20 Peceli Yato, 21 Nikola Matawalu, 22 Jale Vatubua, 23 Josh Matavesi.
Date: Wednesday, October 9
Venue: Oita Stadium, Oita Prefecture
Kick-off: 18.45 (09.45 GMT; 10.45 UK & Ireland time; 21.45 Fiji time)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)