Wellington - Scotland-based backrower Netani Talei has been named Fiji captain for their opening match of the Pacific Nations Cup against Japan in Tokyo next week.
Talei, who plays for Edinburgh, takes over the captaincy from prop Deacon Manu who led Fiji to last year's Rugby World Cup. Manu recently signed a contract extension with his Welsh club, the Scarlets, and is not available for the Pacific tournament.
New Fiji coach Inoke Male has named only seven overseas-based players in his 24 man squad for the June 5 match against Japan. The squad will be expanded to 28 players prior to Fiji's second match against Samoa on June 10.
"Most of the players will be new to the PNC, particularly the local based players and I believe this shows the good work being done here at home in terms of developing our local players to be ready for international rugby," Male said.
Kelemedi Bola, Aloisio Butonidualevu, Graham Dewes, Vereniki Goneva, Aisake Katonibau, Kelevi Ketedromo, Simeli Koniferedi, Benedito Koroi, Setareki Koroilagilagi, Nikola Matawalu, Apisai Naikatini, Waisea Daveta, Leone Nakarawa, Seremaia Naureure, Nemia Kenatale, Iliesa Ratuva, Mala Ravulo, Setefano Somoca, Netani Talei (captain), Viliame Veikoso, Samu Bola, Watisoni Votu, Waisea Nayacalevu, Jerry Yanuyanutawa