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Caleb Muntz returns for Fijian Drua against Highlanders

By Ned Lester
Caleb Muntz of Fiji passes the ball during the Summer International match between England and Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on August 26, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The last time playmaker Caleb Muntz took to the rugby field, it was a historic day for Fijian rugby as the Flying Fijians beat England for the very first time at Twickenham.

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The Drua will be hoping for their own piece of history this weekend as they chase a maiden win over the Highlanders in a crucial clash with potential consequences for their 2024 playoff dreams.

Muntz is set for a season debut off the bench after injuring his knee on the eve of the Rugby World Cup last year, a timely return given what’s at stake for the team.

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Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula retains the starting No. 10 jersey for now, playing outside Simi Kuruvoli in the halves.

Iceman Kemu Valetini and star centre Iosefo Masi make up the midfield, while Epeli Momo and Salestino Ravutaumada line up the wings. Ilaisa Droasese continues to serve as the team’s fullback.

The powerful front row of Jone Koroiduadua, captain Tevita Ikanivere and Mesake Doge will face off with a Highlanders front row headlined by Ethan de Groot.

Mesake Vocevoce and the talented Isoa Nasilasila ake up the second row while Etonia Waqa, Kitione Salawa and Elia Canakaivata have been named as the loose forward trio.

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Related

Drua stream to face the Highlanders

  1. Jone Koroiduadua
  2. Tevita Ikanivere (C)
  3. Mesake Doge
  4. Mesake Vocevoce
  5. Isoa Nasilasila
  6. Etonia Waqa
  7. Kitione Salawa
  8. Elia Canakaivata
  9. Simi Kuruvoli
  10. Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula
  11. Epeli Momo
  12. Kemu Valetini
  13. Iosefo Masi
  14. Selestino Ravutaumada
  15. Ilaisa Droasese

Impact

16.       Zuriel Togiatama
17.       Emosi Tuqiri
18.       Samu Tawake
19.       Leone Rotuisolia
20.       Vilive Miramira
21.       Peni Matawalu
22.       Caleb Muntz
23.       Taniela Rakuro

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Turlough 1 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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