Te Ahiwaru “Big T” Cirikidaveta, who missed the last two matches, makes a return to the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua starting lineup in several changes made by head coach Mick Byrne for their clash against the Western Force.
Big T takes his place at No. 5 alongside captain Meli Derenalagi, Eroni Sau, and Jone Koroiduadua, all of whom started off the bench in the nail-biting 27-24 victory over the Hurricanes in Suva last week.
The matchday-23 for this week also sees the inclusion of Zuriel Togiatama, Jone Tiko, and the returning Caleb Muntz, who makes a comeback after an eight-week injury layoff. Tuidraki Samusamuvodre is also named among the subs.
The Fijian Drua are set to face the Western Force at HBF Stadium in Perth on Friday, with kick-off scheduled for 9:45pm (Fiji Time). This will be Drua’s inaugural trip to Perth. They have only played once before in 2022, resulting in a narrow 20-18 victory for the Force.
Byrne’s presence on the touchline for this encounter will mark his 25th game as head coach of the Drua. Under his guidance, the team scored 37 tries in the 10 matches played in 2023. This is a significant improvement compared to their inaugural 2022 season, where they managed to score a total of 30 tries in 14 matches.
The Fijian Drua match-day squad is as follows:
Haereiti Hetet, 2. Tevita Ikanivere, 3. Jone Koroiduadua, 4. Isoa Nasilasila, 5. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 6. Joseva Tamani, 7. Vilive Miramira, 8. Meli Derenalagi (c) , 9. Frank Lomani, 10. Teti Tela, 11. Taniela Rakuro, 12. Kalaveti Ravouvou, 13. Iosefo Masi, 14. Eroni Sau, 15. Ilaisa Droasese
16 Zuriel Togiatama, 17 Livai Natave, 18. Jone Tiko, 19. Etonia Waqa, 20. Elia Canakaivata, 21 Peni Matawalu, 22, Caleb Muntz, 23 Tuidraki Samusamuvodre