Top four out

BLK Nadroga will miss the services of four key players in the much anticipated HFC Bank Farebrother encounter against former champion Tebara Bus Tailevu at Lawaqa Park tomorrow.

National Vodafone 7s players Savenaca Rawaca, Apisalome Waqatabu, Apisai Domolailai and Eremasi Radrodro have been omitted from the Stallions line-up to face Tailevu in their fifth Farebrother title defence.

Former national 7s rep Ulaiasi Lawavou replaces Radrodro at the back of the scrum while another fomer 7s rep Mitieli Nacagilevu will don his favourite number 15 shirt replacing Waqatabu.

Upcoming flanker Jone Navori will man Domolailai’s number 7 jumper with speed merchant Samu Cava covering for Rawaca.

A notable inclusion for the Stallions is crafty playmaker Jiuta Lutumailagi at first-five.

Nadroga president Tiko Matawalu said the side would miss the services of these star players after their impressive outings in the past four weeks.

He, however, stated the Stallions had capable players to fill the vacuum.

“We would have needed their services but we supported them in their involvement with the national 7s team,” said Matawalu.

“I think their absence has also given four new players the opportunity to show their worth.

“For these four replacements this is the moment they have been waiting for and the team management have faith in these boys.

“We trust them and we know they are aware of what is expected of them.”

The former national rep said Tailevu would be a tough nut to crack.

He said the side had lifted the bar in training knowing the challenger had been preparing for this game for a long time.

“All games are getting stronger after each challenge and we know Tailevu is well prepared for this game,” said Matawalu.

“They have more than enough time to prepare and we believe they have accessed our previous games and know our weaknesses and strengths.

“So we will make sure that we are ready and raise the bar to match all challengers.

“All challenging teams will be eager to win the trophy because it comes with incentives.

“Tailevu is no stranger to winning the Farebrother and they know how and what it takes to win the title.”

Matawalu also commended his troops for successfully defending the trophy in the past four challenge.

“I take my hat off for these boys for their unbeaten record this season and they needed to be acknowledged for producing the results.

“The players are ready for another battle and we will give our best shot to retain the trophy.”

The game kicks off at 3pm.

Teams:

Nadroga: Seremaia Naureure, Ratu Seru Cakobau, Setefano Samoca, Iosefo Tania, Etonia Naba, Timoci Sauvoli, Jone Navori, Ulaiasi Lawavou, Sakiusa Gavidi, Jiuta Lutumailagi, Iliesa Ratuva, Eroni Vasiteri, Samu Cava, Esala Navori, Mitieli Nacagilevu. Reserves: Iliesa Leca, Ratu Penijamini Makutu, Nemani Camainakelo, Apisai Moimoi, Levani Kurimudu, Samu Laqai, Ratunaisa Narukutabua, Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku.

Tailevu: Jale Sassen, Saula Qalomai, Sakeo Latianara (C), Daveta Koroitakali, Jo Matasau, Isei Ravulo, Joseva Wini, Ropate Raburau, Seru Cavuilati/Emori Waqa, Sunia Bainivalu, Manueli Gade, Poasa Waqanibau, Iliesa Keresoni, David Batiratu, Jaoji Dakuvula. Reserves: Manasa Tuidraki, Sunia Tamani, Anare Sovanivalu, Pio Vakavosaki, Moli Mouga, Keni Naidrodro/Emori Waqa, James Vuli/Lemeki Rokoduguni, Aminisitai Niukula.