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Fijian Drua name eight changes from team that beat Crusaders

By Ned Lester
Fijian Drua huddle last week in Melbourne (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The Fijian Drua will look to back up their big win over the reigning Super Rugby Pacific champion Crusaders with a new-look 23 against the Chiefs.

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Four players have been shifted into the starting unit with a further four cracking the bench for the first time this season.

After a Man of the Match performance in round three, halfback Frank Lomani will be absent in Hamilton, with Simione Kuruvoli named at nine.

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He’ll partner the young and promising Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula at 10 in a backline that features perhaps the competition’s form winger in Salestino Ravutaumada.

The explosive back row of Etonia Waqa, Vilive Miramira and captain Meli Derenalagi keep their strong combination intact along with Mesake Vocevoce and Leone Rotuisolia at lock.

The front row sees a change with Haereiti Hetet, Mesulame Dolokoto and Jone Koroiduadua set to square off with the Chiefs’ big boys.

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Fijian Drua team to face the Chiefs

  1. Haereiti Hetet
  2. Mesulame Dolokoto
  3. Jone Koroiduadua
  4. Mesake Vocevoce
  5. Leone Rotuisolia
  6. Etonia Waqa
  7. Vilive Miramira
  8. Meli Derenalagi
  9. Simione Kuruvoli
  10. Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula
  11. Junior Ratuva
  12. Michael Naitokani
  13. Iosefo Masi
  14. Selestino Ravutaumada
  15. Ilaisa Droasese

Reserves

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16. Zuriel Togitama
17. Emosi Tuqiri
18. Samuela Tawake
19. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta
20. Elia Canakaivata
21. Peni Matawalu
22. Kemu Valetini
23. Taniela Rakuro

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J
Jon 23 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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