Head coach John McKee has made a number of changes to his side for this weekend’s match with Canada – including the return of fan-favourite Semi Radradra.
Fiji went down 34-21 in Kaimashi against a strong Japanese side last week after drawing their series with the Maori All Blacks.
In order to get their Pacific Nations Cup defence back on track, McKee has brought in Semi Radradra, who has sat out Fiji’s first matches of the year due to injury. Radradra last played for the Flying Fijians in their historical win over France last November.
Radradra will be partnered in the midfield by Jale Vatubua, who lined up alongside Radradra in Paris last year.
A new halves combination is also on the cards, with Henry Seniloli and Newcastle Falcon Josh Matavesi pairing up. This will be Matavesi’s first start of the year after coming off the bench in the two previous matches.
In the forwards, lock Leone Nakarawa will take over as captain from Dominiko Waqaniburotu, who gets a rest after starting all three of Fiji’s matches to date. Nakarawa will be joined by Tevita Ratuva to lock out the scrum. Peceli Yato will take Waqaniburotu’s place in the 6 jersey.
There’s also an all-new front row for the Fijians: Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto will pack down at hooker, alongside Campese Ma’afu and Peni Ravai.
All in all, McKee has made 12 changes to the match day squad which probably didn’t earn enough go forward against Japan before they tried to get tricky with the ball in hand.
“They will come out strong and will play a physical game against us,” McKee said of Canada, who also lost their first game of the competition.
“They will make us work very hard for everything in the game. They will scrap for every contest and possession.”
Saturday’s match kicks off at 5:15PM local time and will be played at ANZ Stadium in Suva, Fiji.
Fiji team to play Canada:
- Campese Ma’afu
- Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto
- Peni Ravai
- Leone Nakarawa (c)
- Tevita Ratuva
- Peceli Yato
- Semi Kunatani
- Viliame Mata
- Henry Seniloli
- Josh Matavesi
- Eroni Sau
- Jale Vatubua
- Semi Radradra
- Josua Tuisova
- Kini Murimurivalu
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