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Matavesi and Mayanavanua to face England with Fiji

Northampton Saints pair Sam Matavesi and Temo Mayanavanua have both been selected in Fiji’s matchday squad to face England.

Head coach Simon Raiwalui has named his 23-man squad for Saturday’s clash at Twickenham Stadium, with hooker Matavesi earning cap number 26 from the start and Mayanavanua set to move to 13 international appearances from the bench.

The duo’s selection takes Saints’ representation in the Summer Nations Series match to five with Courtney Lawes and Alex Mitchell both starting for England and Lewis Ludlam among the replacements.

The Flying Fijians have partnered captain Waisea Nayacalevu and Semi Radradra in the midfield for the first time as they complete their Rugby World Cup preparations having secured wins this summer against Tonga, Samoa and Japan before suffering a defeat to France last weekend.

Raiwalui said: “We have been rotating players and testing combinations so this is the right time to test these two experienced players this weekend. They are leaders in the team and also role models to our players and I’m confident that they will form the best combination on the day.

“It’s another big physical battle and I think they will try and use their pack to the limit we have been working on ours and I think they will be very tactical with their kicking. It is going to be a different challenge this weekend."

Saturday 26 August, 2023
Twickenham Stadium
Kick-off: 3.15pm (BST)

15 Ilaisa Droasese
14 Selesitino Ravutaumada
13 Waisea Nayacalevu (c)
12 Semi Radradra
11 Vinaya Habosi
10 Caleb Muntz
9 Frank Lomani
1 Eroni Mawi
2 Sam Matavesi (Northampton Saints)
3 Luke Tagi
4 Isoa Nasilasila
5 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidveta
6 Albert Tuisue
7 Lekima Tagitagivalu
8 Viliame Mata

16 Zuriel Togiatama
17 Jone Koroiduadua
18 Samu Tawake
19 Temo Mayanavanua (Northampton Saints)
20 Vilive Miramira
21 Simione Kuruvoli
22 Teti Tela
23 Kalaveti Ravouvou

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