Yato back for Fiji as McKee reverts to first-choice XV

Eleven changes after Uruguay defeat but bullocking back-row Yato returns from head injury to anchor the pack.

TOKYO, 1 Oct - Fiji coach John McKee has made 11 changes to his team for Fiji's Pool D match against Georgia on Thursday 3 October. 

Only Manasa Saulo, Leone Nakarawa, captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Semi Radradra return following the surprise 30-27 defeat by Uruguay. 

McKee has largely reverted to the selection which lost to Australia in the Flying Fijians' opening match, his line-up containing 13 players who started the 39-21 defeat.

The only changes from that day's starting XV are prop Manasa Saulo, who comes in for Peni Ravai, and Semi Kunatani, who has recovered from injury to make his Rugby World Cup debut in place of Viliame Mata. 

Kunatani starts at openside flanker, with Peceli Yato, above, cleared to return from the head injury suffered against Australia to move from openside to number eight. Before leaving the field 26 minutes into the Wallabies game, Yato had scored a try and made more metres than any Fijian player. Yato will play number eight for only the third time in his 35-cap test career.

Frank Lomani scored two tries and Semi Radradra one when Fiji beat Georgia 37-15 in Suva last year.

Defeats to Australia and Uruguay means Fiji are unlikely to make the knockout stages, but victory over Georgia would put them back into contention for third place in Pool D and automatic qualification for Rugby World Cup 2023.  


1. Campese Ma'afu
2. Samuel Matavesi
3. Manasa Saulo
4. Tevita Cavubati
5. Leone Nakarawa
6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu (capt.)
7. Semi Kunatani
8. Peceli Yato
9. Frank Lomani
10. Ben Volavola
11. Semi Radradra
12. Lepani Botia
13. Waisea Nayacalevu
14. Josua Tuisova
15. Kini Murimurivalu

16. Tuvere Vugakoto
17. Eroni Mawi
18. Peni Ravai
19. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa
20. Viliame Mata
21. Nikola Matawalu
22. Jale Vatubua
23. Josh Matavesi

RNS rl