FIJI Water Flying Fijians’ captain, Waisea Naiyacalevu, along with Semi Radradra and Peni Ravai, are part of the group returning to Fiji this evening.
They are expected to arrive at Nadi Airport at 6.30 pm.
A core group of overseas-based players has already returned to their respective clubs following the Flying Fijians’ exit from the Rugby World Cup 2023, after their 24-30 loss to England in the quarterfinals.
The players returning to Fiji include Mesake Doge, Vilive Miramira, Tevita Ikanivere, Meli Derenalagi, Iosefo Masi, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Frank Lomani, Zurial Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, and Samu Tawake.
Upon their arrival in Fiji, the team will proceed to Tanoa Hotel for a “veiqaraqaravi” (a traditional Fijian welcoming ceremony).
The national XVs side returns to Fiji with several historic achievements, including their victories over rugby powerhouses England and Australia in warm-up matches and in the RWC 2023. They also made it to the top eight in the RWC 2023, only their second time in Fiji Rugby’s history and their first in 16 years.
Head coach Simon Raiwalui, a former Flying Fijian with almost 40 caps for Fiji, played a crucial role in these achievements since replacing Vern Cotter in February this year. Raiwalui, who won’t extend his contract beyond its December expiration, is not among the returning group and will return at a later date.