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Suva three

Emoni Narawa
Saturday, May 24, 2014

THE Suva front row of Leeroy Atalifo, Bill Veikoso and Manasa Saulo has been drafted into the Flying Fijians squad for the June Test series.

The trio and Nadroga's Rupeni Nasiga, Jonetani Ralulu and Nemani Nagusa are the only local-based players named in the team.

Head coach John McKee named Nadroga's standoff Ralulu as the only playmaker in the side, with Metuisela Talebula providing cover.

McKee's interesting selection sees Montpellier winger Timoci Nagusa and Talebula competing for the fullback's position as the other backline players such as Vereniki Goneva, Nemani Nadolo, Asaeli Tikoirotuma and Waisea Nayacalevu can all play at outside centre.

While McKee prefers Adrui Delai and Lepani Botia at inside centre, Napolioni Nalaga, Sireli Bobo are the specialist wingers and the other backline players can also be slotted outwide.

In the loose forwards, McKee said all players could be rotated. He said with Netani Talei ruled out, it would be interesting to see who stood up to the test.

"This is a good mix of experience and upcoming players," he said.

"Atalifo is a good and strong player with a good future. He is playing well and is a keen learner."

He said executing the basics well should be a key component for the team as they line up their opponents in upcoming matches.

McKee has named his assistants coaches in Mosese Rauluni, Andre Bell, Aln Muir and Alifereti Mocelutu. Fiji plays Italy in its opening Test on June 7, followed by Tonga, Samoa and then the RWC qualifying match against Cook Island.

Vodafone Flying Fijians: Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Campese Ma'afa, Sunia Koto, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Viliame Veikoso, Isei Colati, Manasa Saulo, Leroy Atalifo, Wame Lewaravu, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Rupeni Nasiga, Domoniko Waqaniburotu, Api Naikatini, Malakai Ravulo, Akapusi Qera - (c), Nemani Nagusa, Nikola Matawalu, Nemia Kenatale, Jonetani Ralulu, Lepani Botia, Adriu Delai, Nemani Nadolo, Vereniki Goneva, Napolioni Nalaga, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Waisea Nayacalevu, Sireli Bobo, Metuisela Talebula, Timoci Nagusa

Standby players: Sione Kolo, Nemia Soqeta, Emori Waqa, Henry Seniloli, Jerry Burotu, Watisoni Votu, Samisoni Viriviri

Management: John McKee (Head Coach), Aseri Rokoura (Manager), Mosese Rauluni (Assistant Coach), Andre Bell (Assistant Coach), Alan Muir (Technical Advisor), Alifereti Mocelutu (Assistant Coach), Nacani Cawanibuka (National Fitness Trainer), William Koong (Team Medic & Physiotherapist)





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