Fijiana set – RWC: Seruvakula names side to face England

Members of the Fijiana 15s team after a training session in Auckland, New Zealand. Picture: FIJI RUGBY

Fijiana 15s head coach Senirusi Seruvakula will counter the heavy, experienced and world No.1 England with mobility and Fijian running rugby in their maiden appearance at the women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand tomorrow.

Meeting England which boasts players with more than 100 caps led by globally respected Sarah Hunter, former Fijian flanker Seruvakula knows how to peel away from difficult situations in a rugby match.

He has reshuffled his run-on bringing skipper Sereima Leweniqila to pair lanky Asinate Serevi, who has the wizardry of her 7s king father Waisale and the physique of her Naruma maternal rugby prowess.

“We have shifted Sereima to add depth into the forwards because Sereima and Asinate are mobile which we need against England,” Seruvakula said.

“The England pack will be strong and heavy, especially in set-pieces.”

Queensland Reds tighthead prop Siteri Rasolea is the lone debutant, but her name preceeds her with father Solomone, a former Fiji and Nadi rep while his namesake son was a Fiji U20 rep.

Rasolea pairs Brumbies loosehead prop Iris Verebalavu and hooker Vika Matarugu up front. Leweniqila at locks with Serevi, Netherland-based Sulita Waisega, 19, pairs Ema Adivitaloga at flanker while Karalaini Naisea anchors the scrum.

“England is mostly a forwards-oriented team, therefore we are fielding our best available players in this area.”

Seruvakula, assisted by former Flying Fijians skippers Greg Smith, Inoke Male, and Mosese Rauluni, plus Asaeli Tikoirotuma, have packed the backline with Fijiana 7s players.

Lavena Cavuru and Merewalesi Rokouono will share the halves position while Sesenieli Donu and Raijieli Laqeretabua will control play from midfield. Inform winger Vitalina Naikore is on the left side while Alowesi Nakoci is the right winger. Roela Radiniyavuni, an attacking player, has a clear view from her fullback position.

“They have the confidence and are focused on the job. Any team can be beaten on the day. We expect to give a strong performance against England.”

Fiji plays England at 3.45pm tomorrow.

  • Fiji: Iris Verebalavu, Vika Maturugu, Siteri Rasolea, Asinate Serevi, Sereima Leweniqila )Cpt), Sulita Waisega, Ema Adivitaloga, Karalaini Naisewa, Lavena Cavuru, Merewalesi Rokouono, Vitalina Naikore, Sesenieli Donu, Rajieli Laqeretabua, Alowesi Nakoci, Roela Radiniyavuni. Reserves: Bitila Tawake, Bulou Vasuturaga, Mereoni Vonosere, Merevesi Ofakimalino, Raijieli Daveua, Akosita Ravato, Ana Maria Roqica, Melaia Matanatabu.

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