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Rugby league convert set for Test debut

Former rugby league star Semi Radradra will make his rugby union test debut for Fiji against Georgia on Saturday.

Radradra – who previously played rugby league for NRL club Parramatta Eels – will start at centre in a backline which also includes France-based Nemani Nadolo on the wing, Ben Volavola at first-five for the Pacific Nations cup fixture in Suva.

Radradra was a standout this season for Top 14 giants Toulon and starred for the Barbarians team that beat England at Twickenham.

Kini Murimurivalu and Vereniki Goneva, try-scorers in Fiji’s win over Samoa last weekend, return at fullback and on the right wing.

Georgia and Fiji will meet again in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

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Samoa have made nine changes to the starting lineup for Saturday’s Test against Tonga.

Props Jordan Lay and Viliamu Afatia join hooker Seilala Lam to form all-new front row.

TJ Ioane starts in the No. 7 jersey and Jack Lam moves to No 8.

In the backline, Dwayne Polata’vao will start at first-five, Alofa Alofa at centre, and Paul Perez on the right wing.

Assistant coach and former Wallaby Chris Latham said Tonga would be hard to beat after their narrow loss to Georgia 16-15 last weekend.

They will have a few tricks up their sleeves but we got to make sure that we look after ourselves, take care of the ball, and play the game on our terms,” Latham said.

Tonga have made five changes, with Castres loose forward Sitivani Mafi joining the starting lineup and Maama Vaipulu joining the reserves.

Former Highlander and current Glasgow tighthead prop Siua Halanukonuka replaces Dave Lolohea.

David Halaifonua moves from wing to fullback in place of Sione Fifita. Viliami Lolohea fills in on the right wing, and former NRL winger Cooper Vuna replaces Penikolo Latu on the left.

LINEUPS

FIJI

Keni Murimurivalu, Vereniki Goneava, Semi Radradra, Jale Vatubua, Nemani Nadolo, Ben Volavola, Henry Seniloli; Viliame Mata, Akapusi Qera (C), Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Leone Nakarawa, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Manasa Saulo, Ratu Vere Vugakot, Campese Ma’afu.
Reserves: Ratunaisa Navuma, Eroni Maw, Kalivati Tawake, Sikeli Nabou, Nemani Nagusa, Frank Lomani, Alivereti Veitokani, Timoci Nagusa.

GEORGIA

Soso Matiashvili, Tamaz Mchedlidze, Davit Katcharava, Lasha Malaguradze, Anzor Sitchinava, Sandro Todua, Lasha Khmaladze, Vasil Lobzhanidze; Otar Giorgadze, Vito Kolelishvili, Giorgi Tsutskiridze, Kote Mikautadze, Giorgi Nemsadze (C), Levan Chilachava, Shalva Mamukashvili, Kakha Asieshvili.
Reserves: Shalva Sutiashvili, Nodar Tcheishvili, Giorgi Melikidze, Zurab Zhvania, Giorgi Tchqoidze, Giorgi Begadze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Merab Kvirikashvili.

SAMOA

Ah See Tuala, Paul Perez, Alofa Alofa, Alapati Leiua, Sinoti Sinoti, Tusi Pisi, Dwayne Polataivao; Jack Lam, T.J. Ioane, Piula Faasalele, Chris Vui (C), Joe Tekori, Viliamu Afatia, Seilala Lam, Jordan Lay.
Reserves: Elia Elia, James Lay, Paul Alo-Emile, Brandon Nansen, Ofisa Treviranus, Melani Matavao, Rodney Iona, Ed Fidow.

TONGA

David Halaifonua, Viliami Lolohea, Nafi Tu’itavake, Siale Piutau (C), Cooper Vuna, Kurt Morath, Sonatane Takulua; Nasi Manu, Fotu Lokotui, Sitiveni Mafi, Joe Tu’ineau, Leva Fifita, Siua Halanukonuka, Paulo Ngauamo, Siegfried Fisi’ihoi.
Reserves: Sefo Sakalia, David Feao, Ben Tameifuna, Valentino Mapapalangi, Maama Vaipulu, Suke Tuumotooa, Latiume Fosita.

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Rugby league convert set for Test debut | RugbyPass