Fiji amp for Twickenham Test

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 07:24
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Fiji head coach John Mckee has named a much more experienced side to take on England at Twickenham on Saturday.

Fresh from a 7-40 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians, Mckee has included Peceli Yato and Josh Matavesi in his side which will add some experience for the Test.

"This team in the best that can represent Fiji this week and we see some of our most experienced players returning for this Test. This team gives us the balance of being strong on the set play at scrum and lineout, as well as exiting our defensive zone, along with having the mobility to play our attacking game,"

A lot of positives have come from the Barbarians game last week and the players have become tighter as a group both on and off the field.

Mckee's side are fully aware of the tough challenge that awaits them especially going up against the England side currently rank second place in the World Rugby Rankings.

However, the coach acknowledges that having the opportunity to play England and having consistent matches with Tier 1 nations is beneficial for teams such as Fiji.

Mckee said: "It doesn’t get bigger than playing England at Twickenham in 2016. It is in games like this that Fiji can really make their mark on the world stage.

"The team will have to be at their absolute best and very disciplined over the 80 minutes to succeed. Teams such as England will capitalise on any mistakes and giving away penalties will give them field position and put us under pressure. The team has prepared well, the performance is in their hands, and they will go onto the field against England with fire in their bellies and Ice in their minds,"

Fiji: 15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Benito Masilevu, 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Albert Vulivuli, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Josh Matavesi, 9 Seru Vularika, 8 Akapusi Qera (captain), 7 Peceli Yato, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 3 Manaia Saulo, 2 Sunia Koto Vuli, 1 Campese Maafu.
Replacements: 16 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Leeroy Atalifo, 19 Nemia Soqeta, 20 Naulia Dawai, 21 Eremasi Radrodro, 22 Nikola Matawalu, 23 Kini Murimurivalu.

Date: Saturday, November 19
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT; 03.30, Sunday, November 20, Fiji time)
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Lloyd Linton (Scotland)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)