Vern Cotter selects his playing group for the first time
New coach Vern Cotter has picked his first Fiji squad of 32. Fiji are set to take on the Autumn Nations Cup next month.
Stand-out names with the group include Bristol Bears star Semi Radradra, Glasgow Warriors lock Leone Nakarawa, Stade Français centre Waisea Nayacalevu and well-known wingers Nemani Nadolo and Josua Tuisova.
The squad also includes nine Fiji-based players: Tevita Ikanivere, Samuela Tawake, Jone Koroiduadua, Chris Minimbi, Manueli Ratuniyarawa, Peni Matawalu, Simione Kuruvoli, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre and Serupepeli Vularika. The group were part of the Skipper Cup and have been training together under the Fiji Rugby Academy.
“These players have the ability, with guidance from senior players, to become great Flying Fijians,” boss Cotter said. “We will certainly be demanding a lot from them with guidance by the senior ones in the squad.”
In the new competition, Fiji will face face France on 15 November, Italy on 21 November, Scotland on 28 November and then they will take on one last match on 5 December – against one of England, Ireland, Wales or Georgia from Pool A – to decide their final classification in the competition.
Former Scotland coach Cotter will also lead the Barbarians when they face England at Twickenham on Sunday 25 October. He will be joined by former Saracens star and ex-Test referee Glen Jackson, who was recently appointed assistant coach with Fiji.
The Fiji squad
Props: Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Haereiti Hetet, Samuela Tawake, Mesake Doge, Jone Koroiduadua.
Hookers: Mesulame Dolokoto, Sam Matavesi, Tevita Ikanivere.
Locks: Tevita Ratuva, Leone Nakarawa, Temo Mayanavanua, Chris Minimbi.
Back-rows: Mesulame Kunavula, Kitione Kamikamica, Johnny Dyer, Albert Tuisue, Manueli Ratuniyarawa, Lekima Tagitagivalu.
Scrum-halves: Frank Lomani, Peni Matawalu, Simione Kuruvoli.
Fly-halves: Ben Volavola, Tuidraki Samusamuvodre.
Centres: Semi Radradra, Lepani Botia, Serupepeli Vularika, Jale Vatubua, Waisea Nayacalevu.
Back three: Nemani Nadolo, Josua Tuisova, Kini Murimurivalu.
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