Tuisova to start from the bench in Samoa

VODAFONE Flying Fijians coach John McKee will start Josua ‘The Bus’ Tuisova from the bench in the match against Manu Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup at Apia tomorrow.

The France-based winger, who had been on destructive mode since appearing for Fiji in the ongoing World Rugby Test series, is expected to be an impact player in the team’s campaign to win the PNC.

Tonga leads the tally after two games. A win this weekend for the Fijians will ensure we retain the annual title.

Tuisova’s 7s Rio Olympics teammate and off-load king Leone Nakarawa is expected to be on his ‘A’-game after showing A-grade elusive ball handling skills against the Ikale Tahi in Nuku’alofa last weekend.

“The players must focus on getting the small tasks right and executing our plays under pressure to win this match,” McKee said .

“We missed a couple of tries last week because we were not accurate in our finishing or with the last pass.”

McKee said the match against Samoa would be tough for them since they would have a home ground support. With the PNC up for grabs and Samoa desperate to qualify for RWC in this series, we expect a very tough challenge on Saturday. We are very determined to successfully defend the PNC title which we have held since 2015.”

The match has been boosted with the Rugby World Cup, the Webb Ellis Trophy displayed during the match.

“The team will have to work very hard in defence. Samoa have a very talented backline and we cannot afford to give them too much time and space.”

Skipper Akapusi Qera said the Test would be the ideal platform towards the Northern Tour later in the year.

“Moving forward in the competition Samoa would be very physical, but the boys are up for it,” he said.

“In the June Test, we can beat them at home and we can give them a good go in their home ground. We are building up as a group with experienced and young players.”

Fiji plays Samoa at 1pm (Fiji Time).

Vodafone Flying Fijians:

Campese Maáfu, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera ©, Nemani Nagusa, Henry Seniloli, Ben Volavola, Patrick Osborne, Jale Vatubua, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Vereniki Goneva, Timoci Nagusa.

Reserves: Sunia Koto, Joeli Veitayaki, Kalivati Tawake, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Viliame Mata, Frank Lomani, Eroni Vasiteri, Josua Tuisova

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