England and Fiji Name Revamped Squads, Brace for Twickenham Showdown

Fiji and England coaches Simon Raiwalui and Steve Borthwick have made changes to their respective squads for this Sunday’s clash, well aware of the challenges posed by the opposing team and expect an exciting encounter.

Raiwalui revamped his squad with six changes following their 34-17 loss to France, and anticipates a tough physical contest and strong forward play from England. Acknowledging Fiji’s strength, Borthwick has made nine changes aiming to improve their ability to convert opportunities into points for the match scheduled for 2.15 am (FJT) Sunday at Twickenham Stadium.

“It’s another big physical battle and I think they will try and use their pack to the limit we have been working on ours and I think they will be very tactical with their kicking. It is going to be a different challenge this weekend,” Raiwalui said.

On the other side, England’s coach, Borthwick, acknowledges Fiji as a formidable opponent.

“Fiji have proven themselves to be a strong opposition and we look forward to what we expect to be an exciting and challenging game. Rest assured that we will be looking to convert the opportunities we have recently been creating week-on-week into points on the scoreboard,” Borthwick said.

Among Fiji’s changes is the return of Waisea Nayacalevu to the match-day squad after missing the French game last week. Taking over the captaincy armband, he links up for the first time with Semi Radradra in the midfield, a pairing boasting leadership, and experience Raiwalui is banking on to fire up the squad. The other changes to Fiji’s backline are the promotion of In Ilaisa Droasese from the bench last week to the run-on team, and Selesitino Ravutaumada who missed last week’s showing starts at right wing. In the forwards Raiwalui has brought in Sam Matavesi and Luke Tagi in place of Tevita Ikanivere and Mesake Doge respectively in the front row. In the second row, Albert Tuisue and Lekima Tagitagivalu make up the new pairing on the flanks in place Meli Derenalagi and Levani Botia respectively.

For England, coming in, in the forwards are Theo Dan, Dan Cole, Ollie Chessum, Jack Willis and Ben Earl – who moves to No.8. In the backs Alex Mitchell, Ollie Lawrence, Jonny May and Max Malins start.

England v Fiji
Twickenham, London

England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Max Malins, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Jack Willis, 6 Courtney Lawes (c), 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Theo Dan, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 David Ribbans, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Danny Care, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Joe Marchant

Fiji: 15 Ilaisa Droasese, 14 Selestino Ravutaumada, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu (c), 12 Semi Radradra, 11 Vinaya Habosi, 10 Caleb Muntz, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Lekima Tagitagivalu, 6 Albert Tuisue, 5 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Luke Tagi, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Eroni Mawi
Replacements: 16 Zuriel Togiatama, 17 Jone Koroiduadua, 18 Samu Tawake, 19 Temo Mayanavanua, 20 Vilive Miramira, 21 Simione Kuruvoli, 22 Teti Tela, 23 Kalaveti Ravouvou

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