FORMER Fiji Bati Jone Wesele has been ruled out of the Fairtrade Makoi Bulldogs side for their Vodafone Cup Top 8 clash against the Dee Cees Nadera Panthers today.
Makoi coach Maika Vunivere said Wesele was one of their players injured in the match against Pack Leader Nabua Broncos last weekend.
"Jone Wesele, Ilaisa Rogo and Eliki Ledua are the key players who sustained injuries last weekend," he said.
"They have been ruled out of this crucial match against former champions Nadera Panthers."
Vunivere said the injuries had opened doors for their younger players to feature against a strong side in the competition.
"Some young players from our reserve grade would get a chance to play in the Top 8 competition.
"Also it would be good testing ground for them because matches against a team like Nadera are very tough."
He said Nadera would be aiming to get back to winning ways after the 30-6 loss to Saru Dragons last weekend.
"They are former champions and we respect them but we have been doing our homework and have been training hard for this match.
"We have tightened up in both attack and defence and we will give them a good game tomorrow (today).
"We are now in round two of the competition and we are treating every match as a final because we want to play in the final this year again."
The Bulldogs won the Vodafone Cup title back in 2012 and Vunivere said they had the potential to win it again this year.
The match kicks off at 11.55am at the Suva Grammar School grounds and will be followed by the Sabeto Roosters and Nabua Broncos clash.