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New Fijian wing

Maciu Malo
Saturday, June 28, 2014

STADE Français top try scorer Waisea Nayacalevu has a point to prove for the Flying Fijians in their battle against Cook Islands at Lautoka's Churchill Park this afternoon.

Being in the shadow of Fijian rugby stars Napolioni Nalaga, Sireli Bobo, Watisoni Votu and Timoci Nagusa over the past three games, the 24-year-old Serua native has been given a lifeline — to start on the wing for the first time this season.

The availability of other top class wingers over the past weeks had given Nayacalevu limited chance of showing his full potential.

Head coach John McKee had a one on one session with the former national 7s player in Nadi yesterday after being given the huge responsibility of covering the shoes of Nalaga and Bobo.

McKee said the challenge was on Nayacalevu to stamp his mark in the position.

"I have talked to him during the one on one session and he knows what is expected of him," he said.

"He needs to show us what he's got.

"Throughout the month the policy within the team is to make changes every week.

"We have the strength and the depth in the squad we want to give all players the chance to play and also to get fresh legs each week.

"This gives freshness to our attack as we have a number of very good outside backs."

Nayacalevu is one of six changes made by McKee from the Samoa game.

Former Otago Highlanders halfback Nemia Kenatale has relegated Glasgow halfback Nikola Matawalu to the bench while the evergreen Sunia Koto replaces Tuapati Talemaitoga at hooker.

Api Naikatini has also forced his way in the starting line-up. The game kicks off at 3pm.

Fiji: 1.Campese Ma'afu, 2.Sunia Koto, 3.Manasa Saulo, 4.Api Ratuniyarawa, 5.Api Naikatani, 6.Domoniko Waqaniburotu, 7.Malakai Ravulo, 8.Akapusi Qera (captain), 9.Nemia Kenatale, 10.Jonetani Ralulu, 11.Watisoni Vuto, 12.Nemani Nadolo, 13.Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 14.Waisea Nayacalevu, 15.Metuisela Talebula. Reserves: Bill Veikoso, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Leroy Atalifo, Rupeni Nasiga, Leone Nakarawa, Nikola Matawalu, Adriu Delai, Timoci Nagusa

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