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Matavesi and Mayanavanua named in Fiji squad for World Cup warm-ups

Sam Matavesi and incoming-Saint Temo Mayanavanua have both been named in Fiji’s squad of 45 players for the upcoming summer Tests and Rugby World Cup warm-up matches.

The Flying Fijians face Tonga (22 July), Samoa (29 July), and Japan (5 August) before their World Cup warm-up fixtures against France (19 August) and England (26 August).

Hooker Matavesi will be hoping to add to his 22 international caps this summer as he travels to Fiji from Northampton, while 25-year-old lock Mayanavanua – who is set to join Saints from Lyon this summer – has nine caps to his name so far.

Head coach Simon Raiwalui said: “It’s a great balance of players in the team. We know the different systems they play in, especially the Fijian Drua players judging from the results that they have produced this year.

“Making the [Super Rugby] quarter-finals in their second year only makes my selection of the team a daunting exercise. All those selected from overseas or local deserve to be in the Flying Fijians squad.

“We are training in Taveuni, which is going to be a unique experience; no five-star hotel, no luxuries, live amongst the people and connect with them.

“We obviously will be there for a mission, but part of it is reconnecting with who we are as Fijians, and why we are the Flying Fijians and what is the goal.”

Simon Raiwalui, Fiji Head Coach

“The ultimate goal is the Rugby World Cup. We face Tonga first here at home and they are a well-experienced team, with some new players this year. Then we move on to Samoa and Japan. Those matches are in our region.

“We have a week off and then we will fly to Europe to play France and England, which are great matches to play leading into the World Cup.”

Flying Fijians squad

LOOSEHEAD PROP
Peni Ravai
Haereti Hetet
Eroni Mawi
Meli Tuni

HOOKER
Sam Matavesi (Northampton Saints)
Tevita Ikanivere
Zuriel Togiatama
Mesulame Dolokoto

TIGHTHEAD PROP
Mesake Doge
Luke Tagi
Samu Tawake
Jone Koroiduadua

SECOND ROW
Isoa Nasilasila
Apisalome Ratuniyarawa
Temo Mayanavanua (Northampton Saints)

UTILITY FORWARDS
Albert Tuisue
Peceli Yato
Lekima Tagitagivalu
Joseva Tamani
Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta

BACK ROW
Levani Botia
Viliame Mata
Meli Derenalagi
Vilive Miramira
Kitione Kamikamica

HALFBACK
Frank Lomani
Simione Kuruvoli
Peni Matawalu

FLY-HALF
Teti Tela
Caleb Muntz
Ben Volavola

INSIDE CENTRE
Josua Tuisova
Kalaveti Ravouvou
Adrea Cocagi

OUTSIDE CENTRE
Waisea Nayacalevu
Iosefo Masi
Seta Tamanivalu

BACK THREE
Vinaya Habosi
Jiuta Wainiqolo
Selestino Ravutaumada
Ilaisa Drosese
Setareki Tuicuvu

UTILITY
Semi Radradra
Sireli Maqala
Vilimoni Botitu

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