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Fiji ready for another England scalp as team is named for knockouts

Fiji's left wing Semi Radradra gives a thumbs up at the start of the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Fiji at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne, south-eastern France on September 17, 2023. (Photo by Olivier CHASSIGNOLE / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER CHASSIGNOLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Fiji head coach Simon Raiwalui has named his 23-man match-day squad to play England in their Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter-final in Marseille on Sunday.

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Following a disappointing 24-23 defeat to Portugal in the final pool match of the tournament, Fiji now face an England side in a quarter-final, having beaten them at Twickenham just a few months back.

The team features 10 players who started for Fiji in that famous victory, including five in the back-line with only Caleb Muntz and Selesitino Ravutaumada missing from this team.

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Fiji’s three try-scorers in that first win for Fiji over England have been named in the match-day 23 – Vinaya Habosi, Simione Kuruvoli and captain Waisea Nayacalevu.

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FIJI TEAM TO FACE ENGLAND IN THE QUARTER FINAL

1 Eroni Mawi
2 Tevita Ikanivere
3 Luke Tagi
4 Isoa Nasilasila
5 Albert Tuisue
6 Lekima Tagitagivalu
7 Levani Botia
8 Viliame Mata
9 Frank Lomani
10 Vilimoni Botitu
11 Semi Radradra
12 Josua Tuisova
13 Waisea Nayacalevu (c)
14 Vinaya Habosi
15 Ilaisa Droasese

Replacements:
16 Samuel Matavesi
17 Peni Ravai
18 Mesake Doge
19 Meli Derenalagi
20 Vilive Miramira
21 Simione Kuruvoli
22 Iosefo Masi
23 Sireli Maqala

Hooker Tevita Ikanivere earns his first Rugby World Cup start after playing Fiji’s first four pool games off the bench. In his 12th test since making his debut in July last year, this will be only his fourth start – all three of his tries have come when he has worn the number two jersey.

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Semi Radradra returns to the left wing, with Vinaya Habosi switching to the right. He is still chasing his first try of RWC 2023 after scoring two in 2019. Four of his six career tries have come when he has started in the midfield. Radradra announced this year he would be moving to Lyon after three years with the Bristol Bears.

If used off the bench Peni Ravai will join Akapusi Qera, Campese Ma’afu and Leone Nakarawa as the second-most capped Fijian at the Rugby World Cup with 12 appearances. Only Nicky Little has played more games with 14 between 1999 and 2011.

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finn 3 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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S
Simon 6 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

23 Go to comments
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TRENDING Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting? Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?
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