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Fijian Drua welcome Tevita Ikanivere back to starting side to play Brumbies

By Finn Morton
Tevita Ikanivere of Fiji Drua during the round one Super Rugby Pacific match between the Blues and Fijian Drua at Semenoff Stadium, on February 24, 2024, in Whangarei, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Coach Mick Byrne has made seven changes to Drua’s starting side ahead of their clash with the ACT Brumbies, with the Fijians still looking to register what’s been an elusive first away win of the season.

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Following a confidence-building 24-17 win over rivals Moana Pasifika last time out, the seventh-placed Drua are hoping to shake up Super Rugby Pacific with an upset victory in Canberra.

While the Drua have named a strong side, which includes the return of Flying Fijians hooker Tevita Ikanivere to the run-on team, the Brumbies are coming off a win over the Hurricanes.

Along with the inclusion of Ikanivere at hooker, Mesake Vocevoce and Isoa Nasilasila have both been named to return in the middle row. The selection of Vilive Miramira at blindside flanker is the fourth and final change to the forward pack.

Props Haereiti Hetet and Mesake Doge, as well as backrowers Kitione Salawa and captain Meli Derenalagi, are among the quartet of those wearing numbers one through eight who have held onto their spots.

As for the backs, Michael Naitokani comes into the team at inside centre and will partner Iosefo Masi in the midfield. Junior Ratuva on one wing and Selestino Ravutaumada are the other two changes to the backline.

The rest of the team remains the same with Peni Matawalu set to combine with rising star Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula in the halves. Taniela Rakuro will also start on the left wing with the previously mentioned Isefo Masi at outside centre.

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This clash at Canberra’s GIO Stadium is scheduled to get underway at 9:35 pm (FJT) on Saturday.

Fijian Drua to take on ACT Brumbies

  1. Haereiti Hetet
  2. Tevita Ikanivere
  3. Mesake Doge
  4. Mesake Vocevoce
  5. Isoa Nasilasila
  6. Vilive Miramira
  7. Kitione Salawa Junior
  8. Meli Derenalagi (c)
  9. Peni Matawalu
  10. Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula
  11. Taniela Rakuro
  12. Michael Naitokani
  13. Iosefo Masi
  14. Junior Ratuva
  15. Selestino Ravutaumada

Replacements

  1. Mesulame Dolokoto
  2. Livai Natave
  3. Samu Tawake
  4. Ratu Rotuisolia
  5. Motikiai Murray
  6. Simione Kuruvol
  7. Kemu Valetini
  8. Ilaisa Droasese
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Tim 5 hours ago
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