FORMER Digicel sevens forward Watisoni Votu has been named to lead a well-balanced and experienced Lautoka team to face Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy holders Fiji Bitter Suva in the final challenge of 2012 at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori today.
The selection of this very powerful Lautoka side shows the Maroons are serious about this challenge this afternoon.
Votu, who has been named to play on the wing will be supported by two former Lautoka captains in Peniona Ranitu and Ifereimi Naruma.
The side also includes former Flying Fijians pair of Waisale Vatuvoka and Taniela Rawaqa who will be playing a crucial role from their halfback and first-five combination.
Two members of the 2012 Pacific Nations Cup winning team in hardworking loose forward Apakuki Vuaviri and strong running centre Iliesa Salusalu have also been named at number six and 13.
Salusalu has been bracketed at centre with former Fiji Bati Meli Ravai.
Former Nadroga and France-based Jerry Tuilevu has been named at second-five but also bracketed with Alipate Cibi.
Former Lautoka star Kaiava Salusalu said he was confident the Maroons would be able to put up a strong fight against the champion Fiji Bitter Suva side.
Salusalu said the team had been preparing hard for the past few months and the combination of the young and experienced players in the team would be the key feature to their challenge today.
"We have a very strong team and I believe we also have the experience that is needed to take on the champions," Salusalu said.
"All the hard work has been done during training and everyone is looking forward to the clash in Nausori."
Today's game will be Farebrother holders Fiji Bitter Suva's second defence of the coveted silverware after upsetting former champions Nadroga in Lautoka last month.