Botitu To Start At Flyhalf Against Portugal

Fiji head coach Simon Raiwalui has named his matchday 23 to face Portugal in Toulouse on Sunday, with Vilimoni Botitu starting at 10 for only the second time for Fiji in one of six changes to the starting line-up from their last game against Georgia.

1 Eroni Mawi 2 Samuel Matavesi 3 Luke Tagi 4 Isoa Nasilasila 5 Temo Mayanavanua 6 Meli Derenalagi 7 Levani Botia 8 Viliame Mata 9 Frank Lomani 10 Vilimoni Botitu 11 Vinaya Habosi 12 Josua Tuisova 13 Waisea Nayacalevu (c)14 Selesitino Ravutaumada 15 Sireli Maqala

Replacements:16 Tevita Ikanivere 17 Peni Ravai 18 Mesake Doge 19 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta 20 Albert Tuisue 21 Peni Matawalu 22 Teti Tela 23 Iosefo Masi

• Head coach Simon Raiwalui has made six changes to his starting XV that defeated Georgia, with two in the forward pack and four in the backs.

• Second-row Temo Manyanavanua will make his first Rugby World Cup start after three appearances off the bench at this tournament.

• Meli Derenalagi will make his Rugby World Cup debut after making his test debut earlier this year against Samoa.

• Vilimoni Botitu will wear the number 10 jersey for only the second time.•

Sireli Maqala has played just five minutes at RWC 2023, and will earn his first start at this tournament. •

Captain Waisea Nayacalevu and Teti Tela are the only two Flying Fijians to have played every minute of RWC 2023 so far.

• Levani Botia is the only survivor from the last time Fiji played Portugal in 2013. In attack he has made a team-high five offloads, with one resulting in a try assist. In defence, he has hit the most defensive rucks for Fiji (21), winning three jackals and three penalties at the breakdown, while also making the second-most tackles (24).

Source: RWC2023

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