Volavola Returns Among Changes to Fiji Team for Japan Clash

FIJI Water Flying Fijians Head Coach Simon Raiwalui continues to test combinations and rotate players as he ring the changes for the test match against Japan on Saturday.

Eroni Mawi and Luke Tagi retain their places up front while Sam Matavesi comes in at hooker. In the second row, Isoa Nasilasila has been rested after two consecutive outings against Tonga and Samoa. Albert Tuisue and Temo Mayanavanua form the new pair of combination at locks while Lekima Tagitagivalu will partner up with Kitione Kamikamica on the flanks. Meli Derenalagi shifts to number eight for this weekend.

In search for more game time, Simione Kuruvoli returns at half-back while experienced Ben Volavola starts at fly-half. Winger Selestino Ravutaumada makes the run-on team in his third straight match. He starts on the left wing with Jiuta Wainiqolo donning the No.14 jumper. Sireli Maqala is at full-back.

There is no loss of power and experience on the bench with top players such as Tevita Ikanivere, Peni Ravai, Joseva Tamani, and Frank Lomani on the impact list.

Regarding the selection Raiwalui said: “We have had a quick turnaround following our match against Samoa last weekend. As usual, we are still in the preparation phase for Rugby World Cup hence we are testing and rotating our players at certain positions.

“It’s good to have Ben Volvavola back in the squad. He was nursing a niggling injury for the past few weeks and his experience at number 10 will be a boost against Japan.”

Raiwalui said Japan would be a tough team to beat at home.

“We know Japan is a good team, plays very high tempo of the game and very organized so we are just looking forward to the challenge.”

FIJI Water Flying Fijians play Japan at 10.15pm(FJT) on Saturday.

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