The Fiji Airways Flying Fijians marched into camp today to begin preparations for the 2018 World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup, dubbed the June Test Series.
The World Rugby-funded tournament, which provides important high-performance preparation for teams ahead of Rugby World Cup 2019, sees Georgia joining Fiji, Samoa and Tonga at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on 9 and 16 June and at the Churchill Park in Lautoka on 23 June.
Only 24 players out of the 31 that was named by Fiji Airways Flying Fijians Coach, John McKee, marched into camp, with Henry Seniloli, Jale Vatubua and Vereniki Goneva expected to arrive later this week, while Leone Nakarawa, Semi Radradra, Nemani Nadolo and Timoci Nagusa will arrive into camp next week, following the completion of their club commitments and the Top 14 finals.
According to McKee, the players had been closely monitored and tracked as consideration for selection for the 2018 PNC and that the June Test Series would be a very challenging and important one for the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians.
“With less than 18 months to RWC 2019 this June Test Series is very challenging and important for us in both terms of Fiji’s standing as the top Tier 2 Nation and with an eye towards our preparation for RWC 2019.”
“As good as some of our match performance was in 2017 we need to be better in 2018. Our performance levels must build towards 2019 to put us in the best position to have a successful RWC.”
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians
Loose Head Prop – Campese Maáfu, Peni Ravai, Eroni Mawi.
Hooker – Tuapati Talemaitoga, Tuvere Veremalua, Ratunaisa Navuma.
Tight Head Prop – Ropate Rinakama, Kalivati Tawake, Manasa Saulo.
Lock – Sikeli Nabou, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Albert Tuisue.
Back Row – Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Viliame Mata, Mosese Voka, Nemani Nagusa, Akapusi Qera.
Half Back – Henry Seniloli, Frank Lomani, Serupepeli Vularika
Scrum Half – Ben Volavola, Alivereti Veitokani
Centre – Jale Vatubua, Sevanaia Galala, Semi Radrara
Wing – Vereniki Goneva, Benito Masilevu, Josua Tuisova, Nemani Nadolo, Timoci Nagusa
Full Back – Kini Murimurivalu
World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup
Test One: Saturday 9th June @ 3.30pm (ANZ Stadium, Suva)
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians v Manu Samoa
Georgia Lelos v Tonga Ikale Tahi @ 1.00pm
Test Two: Saturday 16th June @ 3.30pm (ANZ Stadium, Suva)
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians v Georgia Lelos’
Tonga Ikale Tahi v Manu Samoa @ 1.00pm
Test Three: Saturday 23rd June @ 3.00pm (Churchill Park, Lautoka)
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians v Tonga’s Ikale Tahi