Fiji Rugby Head Coach John McKee has named a young and local based players in the 27-member wider Fiji Airways Flying Fijians squad for the Barbarians test match next month in London.
With the top Northern Hemisphere professional players unavailable, this is an opportunity for locally based, up and coming players part of New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup, and up and coming players in France.
The Flying Fijians squad is dominated by 13 Fiji Airways Fijian Drua players who played a vital role for the team in the National Rugby Championship this season.
Locks Temo Mayanavanua, Sikeli Nabou, Viliame Rarasea and flanker Saimoni Uluninakauvadra who have been part of the current Mitre 10 Cup have also been drafted into the squad as we start to build up for the next World Cup. Utility back Asaeli Tikoirotuma has been included to add some experience in the very young backline
Eroni Mawi, Mosese Voka, Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto and Frank Lomani are the only three players who are available from the Rugby World Cup squad in Japan.
Experience will be important with the inclusion of locally based Flying Fijians and some key position experienced players out of New Zealand.
McKee is still awaiting confirmation from Reds fly-half Teti Tela and Eroni Sau. A few young players playing in France have also indicated their availability and the FRU is working with their Clubs to confirm their availability
The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians face Barbarians on the 16th of this next month at Twickenham Stadium in London.
The match is expected to be an important test for these players who will face Eddie Jones coached Barbarians.
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians wider-training squad
Loose Head Prop
Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto
Tight Head Prop
Teti Tela/Jone Manu
Eroni Sau/Patrick Osbourne
France based players being considered if released: Fredrick Hickes, Laijiasa Bolenaivalu, Watisoni Votu, Isei Colati, Sunia Tamani, Seva Domoni.