Drua name two debutants including Taliga in team to take on Blues

Meli Derenalagi will again captain the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua which has a run-on debutant as well as a potential debut from the bench to take on Super Rugby Pacific competition table leaders the Blues in the Super Round in Melbourne.

There are also a number of exciting positional changes as the Drua look to bring their renowned Fijian flair to Melbourne for what’s shaping up to be an exhilarating weekend of rugby.

Suva prop Meli Tuni (1) gets a run-on debut at loosehead prop this week, while it’s a first start for Flying Fijians tighthead prop Manasa Saulo (3). Mesulame Dolokoto (2) retains his role at hooker.

Naitasiri lock Chris Minimbi (4) will get to make his first start in the run-on side as well, partnering Viliame Rarasea (5). Captain Meli Derenalagi (6) moves to the side of the scrum as blindside flanker, with Rusiate Nasove (7) starting as openside flanker and the returning Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta (8) taking over the number 8 loose forward position.

Peni Matawalu (9) is the halfback this week, partnering the exciting Simione Kuruvoli (10) who starts the match at flyhalf.

Caleb Muntz (12) starts at inside centre this week, with Kalaveti Ravouvou (13) at outside centre.

Onisi Ratave (11) will be looking to add to his four tries in the competition so far from the left wing position, with Tuidraki Samusamuvodre (14) manning the right wing and the hot stepping Kitione Taliga (15) getting his first start for the season at fullback.

Backing up from the bench will be Zuriel Togiatama (16), Timoci Sauvoli (17), Jone Koroiduadua (18), Isoa Nasilasila (19) and Joseva Tamani (20). Suva halfback Leone Nawai (21) is a potential debut as he takes his place on the bench, alongside utility backs Jona Mataiciwa (22) and Frank Lomani (23).

Coach Byrne said: “Another great opportunity to experience Super rugby. Taking on last year’s champions and this season’s pacesetters is really exciting for everyone. The players are looking forward to another physical clash and are up for the challenge. It’s an exciting time for Super Rugby Pacific with the Super round in Melbourne.”

Round 10 “Super Round” vs Blues

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua Matchday 23

  1. Meli Tuni *
  2. Mesulame Dolokoto
  3. Manasa Saulo
  4. Chris Minimbi
  5. Viliame Rarasea
  6. Meli Derenalagi (c)
  7. Rusiate Nasove
  8. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta
  9. Peni Matawalu
  10. Simione Kuruvoli
  11. Onisi Ratave
  12. Caleb Muntz
  13. Kalaveti Ravouvou
  1. Tuidraki Samusamuvodre
  2. Kitione Taliga
  3. Zuriel Togiatama
  4. Timoci Sauvoli
  5. Jone Koroiduadua
  6. Isoa Nasilasila
  7. Joseva Tamani
  8. Leone Nawai *
  9. Jona Mataiciwa
  10. Frank Lomani


* denotes debut and potential debut

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