BLK Nadroga will not be affected by the absence of six key players during its first HFC Farebrother Sullivan trophy defence against Naitasiri tomorrow.
Head coach Esala Nauga said he had capable players in the training squad to fill in the vacuum left by key players such as fly half Jiuta Lutumailagi, Ulaiasi Lawavou, Peni Ravai, Ratu Naisa Vatuinaruku, Jovesa Kunawave and Seremaia Naureure.
The six players were suspended by IRB after being involved in an incident in Australia while representing Fiji Warriors at the Pacific Rugby Cup competition earlier this year.
He said his side had the depth to fill for any positions left vacuum by any key player.
"I don't think that the absence of six players will affect our performance," said Nauga.
"In fact we played without these key players against Naitasiri last week.
"We have players in the squad that are capable of covering for any position left vacuum by any of our key players."
The former Flying Fijian said the Farebrother game would be a different ball game for both teams compared to the Skipper Cup final.
Nadroga thumped Naitasiri 50-7 in the final last week but Nauga anticipates a fire-up Naitasiri on Saturday.
"We have forgotten our win last week and we respect Naitasiri as one of the champion teams," said Nauga.
"We understand that their manager had stated in the media of his team's intention to snatch the Farebrother away from us.
"And we expect a tough challenge against Naitasiri."
Nauga said the Farebrother trophy meant a lot to the people of Nadroga.
"This trophy is special not only to the players but to the "vanua" of Nadroga," he said.
"We will not easily give the trophy away but defend it to the best of our ability.
"This is the first challenge of the year and we will give Naitasiri a good game."
Some of the players that will spearhead the Stallions against the Hillmen are skipper Rupeni Nasiga, Setefano Samoca, Ratu Penijamini Makutu, Sailosi Rabonaqica, Manoa Tamaya, Emosi Vucago, Ratu Meli Kurisaru, Savenaca Rawaca, Aporosa Tabulawaki and Mitieli Nacagilevu.
The game will be held at Lawaqa Park at 3pm.