Wholesale changes for Fiji
Wholesale changes for FijiSHARE
Fiji retained only five players from the loss to Samoa and handed the captaincy to No. 8 Netani Talei for their World Cup Pool D match against Wales in Hamilton on Sunday.
Only hooker Sunia Koto, lock Leone Nakarawa and Talei have keep their places in the forward pack, while flyhalf Nicky Little and Gaby Lovobalavu, who has moved out a spot to centre, were the only backs in the starting lineup which was beaten by Samoa 27-7 at Eden Park last week.
Michael Tagicakibau, who wasn’t picked to play his brother, Samoan wing Sailosi Tagicakibau, in Auckland, will make his World Cup debut on the left wing.
Fiji-based props Setefano Somoca and Waisea Nailago, flank Rupeni Nasiga, scrumhalf Vitori Buatava, and outside backs Albert Vulivuli, Ravai Fatiaki and fullback Iliesa Keresoni also receive their first starts in the tournament.
Fiji: 15 Iliesa Keresoni, 14 Albert Vulivuli, 13 Ravai Fatiaki, 12 Gaby Lovobalavu, 11 Michael Tagicakibau, 10 Nicky Little, 9 Vitori Buatava, 8 Netani Talei (captain), 7 Sakiusa Matadigo, 6 Rupeni Nasiga, 5 Wame Lewaravu, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Setefano Somoca, 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Waisea Nailago.
Replacements: 16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Mala Ravulo, 19 Akapusi Qera, 20 Nemia Kenatale, 21 Seremaia Bai, 22 Vereniki Goneva.
Date: Sunday, October 2
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 18.00 (05.00 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Stuart Terheege (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)