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Matavesi earns Fiji start against Australia A

Northampton Saints hooker Sam Matavesi will start for his country on Saturday as Fiji lock horns against Australia A at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday.

The in-form front row came off the bench in Fiji’s win over Tonga last weekend and is promoted to the starting XV for his side’s second World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup match of the summer.

Head coach Vern Cotter said: “We are creating tough decisions within the group, so there have been some changes for this week – a couple through injury and fatigue, and some to  give players opportunities.

“One of the key things we looking at this week is making sure we strive to improve, but I’m satisfied with the game and it’s the winning mindset which our players have developed.

“We saw against Samoa, Australia A were a well-organised and well-practiced team. They will try and get the ball to the outside, and will try and create space, so we need to be very smart in defence and work together.”

Fiji squad to face Australia A

15 Manasa Mataele
14 Josua Tuisova
13 Setareki Tamanivalu
12 Levani Botia (c)
11 Vinaya Habosi
10 Teti Tela
9 Frank Lomani

1 Haereiti Hetet
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Manasa Saulo
4 Isoa Nasilasila
5 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa
6 Mesulame Kunavula
7 Rusiate Nasove
8 Albert Tuisue

Replacements:
16 Mesulame Dolokoto
17 Eroni Mawi
18 Mesake Doge
19 Temo Manayanavanua
20 Kitione Kamikamica
21 Peni Matawalu
22 Vilimoni Botitu
23 Ben Volavola

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