Byrne names Fijian Drua 23 for Rebels’ away game

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua Head Coach Mick Byrne has announced his line-up for Friday’s Round 6 away match vs the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Stadium.

Jone Koroiduadua (1) starts at loosehead prop withKaliopasi Uluilakepa (3) switching to tighthead prop for this match, while it’s a first appearance in the starting 15 for Zuriel Togiatama (2) at hooker. 

Last week’s second row combination of Sorovakatini Tuifagalele (4) and Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (5) has been retained, as has the backrow featuring last week’s Man of the Match Jeeva Tamani (6) at blindside flanker, Vilive Miramira (7) at openside flanker and captain Nemani Nagusa at number 8 loose forward.

Frank Lomani (9) starts again at scrumhalf, partnering Teti Tela (10) who is at flyhalf and on 35 points for this season.

The starting centres combination of Kalaveti Ravouvou (12) and Apisalome Vota (13) continues for a sixth consecutive time. Vinaya Habosi (11) and Selestino Ravutaumada (14) start on the left and right wings respectively, while it’s a return to the starting 15 for fullback Kitione Ratu (15).

The replacements see a return to the matchday 23 for hooker Tevita Ikanivere (16) and a first potential appearance in Super Rugby Pacific from the bench for loosehead prop Haereiti Hetet (17). Samuela Tawake (18) completes the reserve front row this week. Kitione Salawa (20) and Peni Matawalu (21) retain their positions among the replacements, with Caleb Muntz (22) making a return to the squad alongside Jona Mataiciwa (23).

Byrne said: “We’ve getting more belief in what we’re doing and realising that when we play well, we’re in this competition. Words like belief are living words – you get it by living it – and our belief is getting stronger every week so we’re delivering better. “

The Head Coach added: “This match is another big challenge test for us against the Rebels who have four returning Wallabies and we’re looking forward to it.”

The match kicks off at 7.45pm (local time) at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Round 6 vs Melbourne Rebels

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua Matchday 231. Jone Koroiduadua2. Zuriel Togiatama 3. Kaliopasi Uluilakepa4. Sorovakatini Tuifagalele5. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta6. Joseva Tamani7. Vilive Miramira8. Nemani Nagusa (c)9. Frank Lomani10. Teti Tela11. Vinaya Habosi12. Kalaveti Ravouvou13. Apisalome Vota14. Selestino Ravutaumada15. Kitione Ratu16. Tevita Ikanivere17. Haereiti Hetet*18. Samuela Tawake19. Viliame Rarasea 20. Kitione Salawa 21. Peni Matawalu22. Caleb Muntz23. Jona Mataiciwa

Source: Fijian Drua Press Release

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