Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

Fijian Drua name team with eyes on Eden Park upset

By Ned Lester
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)

The Drua have made it to their second Super Rugby Pacific playoffs and are eager to go one better than their 2023 quarter-final exit.

ADVERTISEMENT

This weekend could see them do just that when they take the field at Eden Park to face a Blues outfit with just two losses on the season.

Much has happened since the two last played each other in round one – a 34-10 win for the Blues – and the Drua will be out to prove they’ve grown throughout the season.

Outgoing coach Mick Byrne has selected a typically explosive Fijian matchday 23 for what he’ll be hoping isn’t his final game with the Drua before he departs to take up Flying Fijian duties.

A front row of Livai Natave, Tevita Ikanivere and Mesake Doge will look to challenge the Blues scrum, with a second row of Mesake Vocevoce and Leone Rotuisolia rounding out the tight five.

Etonia Waqa, Kitione Salawa and captain Meli Derenalagi line up as the loose forward trio. Frank Lomani and Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula continue their strong halves partnership and will look to unleash the attacking threats of the Drua backline.

That backline is headlined by Salestino Ravutaumada on the right wing, with Waqa Nalaga on the left and Ilaisa Droasese completing the back three.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the midfield, a blockbuster matchup at centre sees Iosefo Masi take on Rieko Ioane, playing outside the iceman Kemu Valetini.

Related

Drua team to face the Blues

1.         Livai Natave
2.         Tevita Ikanivere
3.         Mesake Doge
4.         Mesake Vocevoce
5.         Leone Rotuisolia
6.         Etonia Waqa
7.         Kitione Salawa
8.         Meli Derenalagi (c)
9.         Frank Lomani
10.       Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula
11.       Waqa Nalaga
12.       Kemu Valetini
13.       Iosefo Masi
14.       Selestino Ravutaumada
15.       Ilaisa Droasese

Reserves

16.       Zuriel Togiatama
17.       Emosi Tuqiri
18.       Samu Tawake
19.       Isoa Nasilasila
20.       Motikiai Murray
21.       Elia Canakaivata
22.       Peni Matawalu
23.       Caleb Muntz

ADVERTISEMENT

Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

1 Comment
D
David 17 days ago

Most would love an upset in Auckland? Blues sadly will keep it tight and bash away.
The Chiefs odds slipped to nil once they announced the ref - doomed. Who was the cynic who did that ref appointment?

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

TRENDING
TRENDING Watch replay of England vs Japan on RugbyPass TV in the UK and Ireland Watch England vs Japan replay
Search