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Fiji Time: 6:59 AM on Monday 21 April

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Ground perfect for rugby battle

Arin Kumar
Saturday, December 07, 2013

THE ground conditions at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka are "perfect for sublime rugby."

So says Fiji Sports Council operations manager Timoci Naleba as they prepare to host the second AON East versus West match at the venue today at 3pm.

The last competition on the ground was the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast 7s tournament last month.

He said the recent rain in the Salad Bowl of Fiji had softened the ground enough to allow running rugby to be played on the ground.

"The ground is in perfect condition for sublime rugby," he said.

"The workers did a good job on maintaining the ground after the Coral Coast tournament and it hardly rains here so the ground is hard but there was good rain these past few days and that has just made the ground so good for running rugby."

Naleba has called on the people of the Western Division to flock to Lawaqa Park today to witness the best district players from Viti Levu in action.

He said the support of their own people would motivate the West team in the match.

"Western teams are always dominant and the two major rugby titles and the some of the titles of the other sports are also in the West right now.

"But in this competition, the East side has brought in some young and skilful players who could upset West tomorrow (today).

"But for West to win tomorrow (today), they would need the support of the vanua.

"West is a vanua-based team and if they win this challenge competition, they can rightfully claim to be the undisputed champions of rugby in Fiji."

Meanwhile, East has made four changes to their side that drew 22-all with West last weekend at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

Former national under-18 rep Isireli Masiwini replaced Esava Delai and Jone Turuva has been replaced by Sakiusa Buretakiyaca on the wings while Eremodo Elisio gets the nod at the fullback position in place of Maika Ligaqaqa who has been moved to flyhalf.

Flying Fijians halfback Henry Seniloli has been bracketed with Emori Waqa on the reserves list for the East.