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Naba back

Maciu Malo
Saturday, August 30, 2014

WARHORSE Etonia Naba has forced his way into the BLK Nadroga starting line-up against Naitasiri in their first HFC Bank Farebrother Sullivan trophy defence at Lawaqa Park this afternoon.

Naba replaces lanky Epeli Natuikata on the side of the scrum in one of the four changes made by mentor Esala Nauga from the side that thumped Naitasiri 50-7 in last week's Skipper Cup final.

The former national 7s rep will team up with former national 7s skipper Emosi Vucago who has relegated Samu Laqai to the bench.

Another former Fiji 7s rep Mitieli Nacagilevu has finally secured his spot in the staring 15 but will feature on the wing.

Nacagilevu who was used as an impact backline in the Skipper Cup competition will man the number 11 shirt.

The Nakalavo native will form the backline combination with Samuela Rawaca, Aporosa Tabulawaki, Ratu Meli Kurisaru, Apisalome Waqatabu and Iliesa Ratuva who has taken over the inside centre spot from Eroni Vasiteri.

Nauga has retained his "engine room" combination of skipper Rupeni Nahiga, Manoa Tamaya, Setefano Samoca, Seru Cakobau and Nemani Camainakelo to counter the tough Naitasiri pack.

National 7s training squad member Eremasi Radrodro will form the loose trio with livewire flanker Sailosi Rabonaqica and Naba.

Nauga said the first challenge was important and he was confident of a good outing.

He said Naitasiri had earlier mentioned to use their 1998 reputation as a motivational tool to beat the Stallions.

"We do not dwell on the past instead we focused ahead," said Nauga.

"I was playing for Nadroga together with my assistant coaches Jonetani Waqa and Samu Laqai in that 1998 game.

"But this game is a different ball game altogether and we will give Naitasiri a good game."

Nauga said the coveted Farebrother Trophy was special to the vanua of Nadroga.

"The people of Nadroga are looking to this game and the trophy means a lot to the vanua," he said.

"The boys are ready for the challenge."

The game kicks off at 3pm.


Nadroga: Nemani Camainakelo, Seru Cakobau, Setefano Samoca, Rupeni Nahiga, Manoa Tamaya, Etonia Naba, Sailosi Rabonaqica, Eremasi Radrodro, Emosi Vucago, Ratu Meli Kurisaru, Mitieli Nacagilevu, Iliesa Ratuva, Savenaca Rawaca, Aporosa Tabulawaki, Apisalome Waqatabu. Reserves: Apete Salawaqavuka, Eneri Lotawa, Ratu Penijamini Makutu, Jone Navori, Apisai Moimoi, Samu Laqai, Maikeli Toga, Tuba Batiratu.

Naitasiri: Josua Qereqeretabua, Dan Ligairi, Mesake Doge, Sanivalati Vunibola, Necani Nawaqabau, Filimoni Seru, Jeke Baivatu, Seresio Vereivalu, Kini Douglas, Kolinio Vunaki, Inia Tavaiqio, Aporosa Rasavulu, Vilikesa Qio, Nasoni Roko, Maika Ligaqaqa. Reserves: Mosese Ducivaki, Veresi Daku, Bunimasi Bese, Tomasi Dago, Vatiliai Matakaca, Patemo Buto, Lote Raratabu, Esava Delai.

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