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Fiji make seven changes to face Wales after their win over Spain

By AAP
(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Fiji have made seven changes to their starting line-up for their Autumn Nations Series clash with Wales at the Principality Stadium on Sunday, including a return for Api Ratuniyarawa at lock and the selection of scrum-half Frank Lomani. Ratuniyarawa, who plays for Northampton Saints, has been given the responsibility of calling the lineouts after replacing Leone Nakarawa in the team that beat Spain 43-13 last weekend.

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Peni Ravia returns at loosehead prop in a front row that also contains tighthead Mesake Doge and hooker Sam Matavesi. Ratuniyarawa will be partnered by Temo Mayanavanua at lock, while the back row is made up of Albert Tuisue, Mesulame Kunavula and Viliame Mata, who returns to his favoured number eight position.

“With everyone injury-free, we got a big pack loaded with experience so it’s important that we utilise them correctly,” said coach Gareth Baber, who is leading the team in this series.

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“Ratuniyarawa will run the lineout and will be assisted by Sam Matavesi, who is also our vice-captain and will provide leadership in the forward pack as well.”

Lomani returns at scrum-half to partner fly-half Ben Volavola as Nikola Matawalu drops to the bench, while wingers Josua Tuisova and Eroni Sau retain their places after a strong showing against Spain. Captain Waisea Nayacalevu and Vilimoni Botitu make up the centre pairing, with Setareki Tuicuvu at full-back.

“We named the team taking into consideration a little bit of continuity from last week and a couple of changes in positions as well. I’m looking forward to seeing them go and we are excited about the prospects and the responsibilities ahead,” said Baber. Fiji’s only win against Wales in twelve previous meetings came with a surprise 38-34 victory at the 2007 World Cup in France.

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FIJI (vs Wales, Sunday)
15. Setareki Tuicuvu; 14. Josua Tuisova, 13. Waisea Nayacalevu (capt), 12. Vilimoni Botitu, 11. Ero ni Sau; 10. Ben Volavola, 9. Frank Lomani; 8. Vilimae Mata, 7. Mesulame Kunavula, 6. Albert Tuisue, 5. Temo Mayanavanua, 4. Api Ratuniyarawa, 3. Mesake Doge, 2. Sam Matavesi, 1. Peni Ravai. Reps: 16. Zuriel Togiatama, 17. Eroni Mawi, 18. Leeroy Atalifo, 19. Tevita Ratuva, 20. Masivesi Dakuwaqa, 21. Nikola Matawalu, 22. Apisai Naqalevu, 23. Aminiasi Tuimaba.

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