Fiji pick familiar faces for England clash
November 8, 2012
Niki Goneva will face some of his Tigers team-mates at Twickenham © PA Photos
Fiji have named three uncapped players in their squad ahead of their trip to Twickenham to face England at Twickenham on Saturday.
Fijian coach Inoke Male originally named an inexperienced squad prior to the autumn Test series and he has opted to blood a few fresh faces for the game with England. Winger Samu Wara and lock Apisalome Ratuniyarawa will make their debuts having earned selection in the starting XV with Manasa Saulo also in line to win his first Test cap if he comes off the bench.
Elsewhere there are some familiar faces with Leicester's Vereniki Goneva lining up alongside Exeter Chiefs' Sireli Naqelevuki in the centres. Scarlets prop Deacon Manu takes the tight-head berth while Gloucester's Akapusi Qera props up the scrum at No.8 after receiving a late call-up into the squad.
Goneva's inclusion at ouside centre means he will come face-to-face with Tigers team-mate Manu Tuilagi and he is relishing the challenge.
"I am really looking forward to it because I know I will play against some of my team-mates from Leicester, people like Floody and Manu, so I am really excited about it," Goneva told the Leicester Tigers' website. "It's nice because we know each other, but it is a game you want to win and you have to go out there and play.
"I have not played 15-a-side at Twickenham before, only sevens in the World Series with Fiji. I think it will be a lot different playing a 15-a-side Test match with a big crowd as well. I love playing for my country. England are a big team. For me, to play for my country against England for the first time at Twickenham, it will fulfil a dream."
Fiji: Simeli Koniferedi; Samu Wara, Vereniki Goneva, Sireli Naqelevuki, Watisoni Votu; Metuisela Talebula, Nikola Matawalu; Pen Makutu, Viliame Veikoso, Deacon Manu (captain), Leone Nakarawa, Apisolame Ratuniyarawa, Api Naikatini, Malakai Ravulo, Akapusi Qera
Replacements: Seremaia Naureure, Setafano Samoca, Manasa Saulo, Sekonaia Kalou, Iliesa Ratuva, Kelemedi Bola, Josh Matavesi, Ravai Fatiaki
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold