Radradra out, Botia to captain Fiji against France

Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter has named his squad for the game against France next Monday with nine to earn their Test caps in a line-up that excludes hard-hitting centre Semi Radradra.

Fiji Rugby Union CEO John O’Connor neither confirmed nor denied media reports that Radradra had tested positive for coronavirus, only saying that a player who initially tested negative, returned a positive test. However, in the lineup released today for the Autumns Nations Cup opener, Radradra was the notable exclusion in the run-on team likewise the bench, with former Fiji 7s captain Levani Botia handed the captaincy role.

Botia provides some depth in the forwards, which has the services of newbies and No.8 Johnny Dyer and flankers Mesulame Kunavula and Kitione Kamikamica who have been named in the run-on team. The other five namely Tevita Ikanivere, Haereiti Hatet, Samuela Tawake, Temo Manayavanua, Manueli Ratuniyarawa and Simione Kuruvoli will earn their Test caps off the bench. 

In the backs, Cotter has opted for the halves combination of Frank Lomani and Ben Volavola with Nemani Nadolo on the left wing. Josua Tuisova starts on right wing while Waisea Nayacalevu and Levani Botia will control the midfield with Kini Murimurivalu at full-back.

The France versus Fiji game is scheduled for 3.15 am on Monday (Fiji Time).

Fiji will also play Italy on 21 November, and Scotland on 29 November in their remaining Group B Autumn Nations Cup games.

Meanwhile, on the FLying Fijian player who tested positive for coronavirus, Fiji Rugby Union CEO John O’Connor said he has been placed in isolation and monitored by medics.

Flying Fijians team versus France
1. Peni Ravai, 2. Sam Matavesi, 3. Mesake Doge, 4. Tevita Ratuva, 5. Albert Tuisue, 6. Mesulame Kunavula, 7. Kitione Kamikamica, 8. Johnny Dyer
9. Frank Lomani, 10. Ben Volavola, 11. Nemani Nadolo, 12. Levani Botia (C), 13. Waisea Nayacalevu, 14. Josua Tuisova, 15. Kini Murimurivalu
16. Tevita Ikanivere, 17. Haereiti Hetet, 18. Samuela Tawake, 19. Temo Mayanavanua, 20. Manueli Ratuniyarawa, 21. Simione Kuruvoli, 22. Serupepeli Vularika, 23. Setareki Tuicuvu

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