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Fiji name a star-studded 45-strong Rugby World Cup training squad

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

New Fiji boss Simon Raiwalui has named a 45-strong Rugby World Cup training squad consisting of numerous stars such as Semi Radradra and 10 uncapped players. The Fijians will begin their campaign in France with a blockbuster pool fixture versus Wales in Bordeaux on September 10 and they have commenced preparations by unveiling a powerful-looking training line-up.


Fijian Drua, who are currently preparing for their Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final this weekend at Crusaders, have 23 players included along with 13 from the French Top 14, five from the English Premiership, and one each from the French Pro D2, the URC, Japan’s League one and Super Rugby.

The match build-up towards the finals commences next month with Test games against Tonga, Samoa and Japan before Fiji will travel to Europe for further warm-up games against France and England.

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A statement explained that due to niggling injuries to some players, Raiwalui will wait until the end of the Drua’s campaign before confirming his final squad of 38 that will go into camp on June 30 in Taveuni. “It’s a great balance of players in the team,” said the head coach on

“We know the different systems they play in, especially the Drua judging from the results that they have produced this year. Making the quarter-finals in their second year only makes my selection of the team a daunting exercise. All those selected from overseas or local deserve to be in the Fiji Water Flying Fijians squad.

“We are going to Taveuni which is going to be a unique experience, no five-star hotel, no luxuries, live amongst the people and connect with them. We obviously will be there for a mission but part of it is reconnecting with who we are as Fijians and why we are the Flying Fijians and what is the goal.

“The ultimate goal is the Rugby World Cup. We got Tonga first here at home and they are a well-experienced team as they got some new players this year. Then we move on to Samoa and Japan. Those matches are in our region. We have a week off and then we will fly to Europe to play France and England which are great matches to play leading into the World Cup.”


Fiji Rugby World Cup training squad
Forwards (25):
Loosehead (4): Peni Ravai (Queensland Reds), Haereti Hetet (Fijian Drua), Eroni Mawi (Saracens), Meli Tuni* (Fijian Drua);

Hooker (4): Samuela Matavesi (Northampton), Tevita Ikanivere (Fijian Drua), Zuriel Togiatama* (Fijian Drua), Mesulame Dolokoto (Fijian Drua);

Tighthead (4): Mesake Doge (Fijian Drua), Luke Tagi (Provence), Samu Tawake (Fijian Drua), Jone Koroiduadua* (Fijian Drua);

Second row (3): Isoa Nasilasila (Fijian Drua), Apisalome Ratuniyarawa (London Irish), Temo Mayanavanua (Lyon);


Utility forwards (5): Albert Tuisue (Gloucester), Peceli Yato (Clermont), Lekima Tagitagivalu* (Fijian Drua), Joseva Tamani* (Fijian Drua), Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (Fijian Drua);

Back row (5): Levani Botia (La Rochelle), Viliame Mata (Edinburgh), Meli Derenalagi* (Fijian Drua), Vilive Miramira* (Fijian Drua), Kitione Kamikamica (Racing 92).

Backs (20):
Scrum-half (3): Frank Lomani, Simione Kuruvoli, Peni Matawalu (all Fijian Drua);

Fly-half (3): Teti Tela (Fijian Drua), Caleb Muntz* (Fijian Drua), Ben Volavola (Racing 92);

Inside centre (3): Josua Tuisova (Lyon), Kalaveti Ravouvou (Fijian Drua), Adrea Cocagi (Fijian Drua);
Outside centre (3): Waisea Nayacalevu (Toulon), Iosefo Masi* (Fijian Drua), Seta Tamanivalu (Toshiba Brave Lupus);

Back three (5): Vinaya Habosi (Racing 92), Jiuta Wainiqolo (Toulon), Selestino Ravutaumada* (Fijian Drua), Ilaisa Drosese (Fijian Drua), Setareki Tuicuvu (Brive);

Utility backs (3): Semi Radradra (Bristol), Sireli Maqala (Bayonne), Vilimoni Botitu Castres).
*Denotes uncapped player


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