Matavesi, Goneva back for Fiji

2014-11-12 15:47
Fiji (File)

Cardiff - Josh Matavesi, who plays his club rugby for Welsh regional side the Ospreys, will start for Fiji against Wales in Saturday's one-off international at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Fly-half Matavesi missed last week's tour-opening 40-15 defeat by France in Marseille through injury but was included Wednesday alongside scrum-half Nikola Matawalu of in-form Scottish team Glasgow in a side named by Fiji coach John McKee on Wednesday.

Former Gloucester No 8 Akapusi Qera will captain the Pacific Islanders.

McKee has made several changes to his back division where Matavesi replaces Jonetani Ralulu and Vereniki Goneva, of English giants Leicester, joins Nemani Nadolo, who has come in for Lepani Botia, in midfield.

Wings Asaeli Tikoirotuma and Waisale Nayacalevu have take over from Watisoni Votu and Alipate Ratini. Both Ratini and Botia cannot be in Cardiff for personal reasons, McKee said Wednesday.

"I am very happy with the squad I have been able to name for this match," McKee was quoted by the website as saying.

"The return of Goneva to the team and Nadolo to the starting line-up adds strength and experience to our backline.

"Josh Matavesi, who unfortunately was unavailable for the France match due to injury, will be looking to make his mark in the playmaker position in this important match, less than 12 months from when these two teams will meet at the same venue at the 2015 Rugby World Cup."

Fiji, pool opponents for Wales in next year's World Cup, drew 16-16 on their last visit to the Millennium Stadium four years ago and famously knocked Wales out of the 2007 edition with a stunning 38-34 win in Nantes.

But their last meeting, at the 2011 World Cup in Hamilton, New Zealand, saw Wales thrash Fiji 66-0.



15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate; 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain)

Substitutes: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 James King, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Cory Allen


15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Nemani Nadolo, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Josh Matavesi, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera (captain), 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Ma'afu

Substitutes: 16 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Isei Colati, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Mala Ravulo, 21 Henry Seniloli, 22 Jonetani Ralulu, 23 Timoci Nagusa

Read more on:    fiji  |  rugby

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