Fiji unveil squad for RWC 2011
Prop Deacon Manu will captain a Fiji squad featuring 21 overseas-based players as the Pacific islanders attempt to repeat their heroics of Rugby World Cup 2007 and reach another quarter-final.
Manu plays his rugby in Wales with the Scarlets, while others in the squad announced by Flying Fijians coach Sam Domoni on Saturday ply their trade in Australia, Japan, France, England, Scotland and New Zealand.
Rupeni Nasiga, Sekonaia Kalou, Napolioni Nalaga, Setefano Somoca, Waisea Daveta, Viliame Veikoso, Nemia Ranuku, Leone Nakarawa and Ravai Fatiaki are the locally-based players in the squad for New Zealand 2011.
Nakawara’s participation in RWC 2011 had been in doubt, but the second row has resigned from the Fijian army and subsequently been granted a temporary exemption from the bans imposed on members of the Fijian military travelling to New Zealand.
A number of the squad played at RWC 2007 as Fiji stunned Wales – their pool opponents again in 2011 – to reach the quarter-finals, including veterans Nicky Little, Seremaia Bai and Akapusi Qera.
There is no place though for a number of experienced players, with Seru Rabeni, Graham Dewes, Sireli Naqelevuki, Taniela Rawaqa and the exciting youngster Josh Matavesi all missing out on Domoni’s squad.
Fiji, who lost 32-20 to Tonga last Friday, open their RWC 2011 campaign against Namibia at the Rotorua International Stadium on 10 September, before tackling defending champions South Africa, Samoa and Wales in their remaining Pool D encounters.
Fiji Rugby World Cup 2011 squad:
Forwards: Campese Ma'afu, Deacon Manu (captain), Setefano Somoca, Waisea Daveta, Viliame Veikoso, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Sunia Koto, Seko Kalou, Leone Nakarawa, Wame Lewaravu, Rupeni Nasiga, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Sisa Koyamaibole, Akapusi Qera, Netani Talei, Masi Matadigo, Malakai Ravulo.
Backs: Nemia Ranuku, Vitori Buatava, Waisea Luveniyali, Seremaia Bai, Nicky Little, Albert Vulivuli, Gabirieli Lovobalavu, Ravai Fatiaki, Vereniki Goneva, Napolioni Nalaga, Michael Tagicakibau, Kini Murimurivalu, Iliesa Keresoni .
Squad subject to RWCL approval