Fiji retains team for NZ clash

FIJI has maintained its 21-member squad from its previous three matches for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup quarter-final match against New Zealand this Saturday at Westpac Stadium. All nations are expected to name their 21-member squad every Tuesday, which is then reduced to 19 and eventually 17 for the game. Vodafone Fiji coach Mick Potter has benched veteran James Storer and named Joe Lovodua as an interchange.

Storer featured in Fiji’s 38-10 victory over Italy while Lovodua was a reserve. Nabua Broncos and only local player Pio Seci has not been named in the 21-member squad.

Fiji Bati media relations manager, Petero Civoniceva said Potter still wanted to look at some of the players in the side and the line-up may change.

“It will be up to Mick Potter on what his line-up would be,” Civoniceva said.

“No one is safe, it will be the best 17 Mick feels will do the job against NZ.”

The former Fiji Bati said Wellington’s chilly conditions won’t dictate the game but he hoped the side would not play in pouring rain.

The forecast for the next 10 days in Wellington says there would be no rain and it is also expected to be warmer.

“These are professional players, we just need to focus on our game plan and play our own game. With such a high-class opposition againt NZ it has to be 80 minutes of play.”

The match kicks off at 7.30pm Fiji time.

Fiji: 1. Kevin Naiqama (captain) 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Taane Milne 4. Akuila Uate 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Jarryd Hayne 7. Henry Raiwalui 8. Ashton Sims 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Eloni Vunakece 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Brayden Wiliame 13. Tui Kamikamica Interchange: 14. Joe Lovodua 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Junior Roqica 17. Petero Ben Nakubuwai. Reserves Mika Rawavalawa, Salesi Junior Faingaa and James Storer.

New Zealand:

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Dallin Watene Zelezeniak 3. Dean Whare 4. Bradley Takairangi 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Martin Taupau 9. Danny Levi 10. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 11. Simon Mannering 12. Joseph Tapine13. Adam Blair (captain) Interchange: 14 Nelson Asofa-Solomona 15. Russell Packer 16. Isaac Liu 17. Kodi Nikoruma Reserves: Kenny Bromwich, Jason Nightingale, Peta Hiku, Addin Fonua-Blacke.

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