Fiji Airways Drua Head Coach Senirusi Seruvakula has named eleven capped Flying Fijians, a young, powerful front row and plenty of depth on the bench in his team to contest round one of the National Rugby Championship (NRC) against Melbourne Rising this weekend.

The match at Ratu Cakobau Park kicking off at 3pm will see the NRC debuts of Serupepeli Vularika and Enele Matele as well as the return to Fijian rugby for Johnny Dyer and Poasa Waqanibau.

Facing a Super Rugby laden Rising side, Coach Seruvakula has opted for a forward heavy split off the bench, aiming to ensure his side can maintain pressure and strength for the full 80 minutes.

“We know the Rising will bring a powerful side, and we want to make sure when we get to the last 20 minutes we can apply strong pressure off the bench” he said.

“Our young forward pack in Mawi, Vugakoto and Tagi will have a tough challenge against the Super Rugby players, but I believe they will match up well on Saturday”.

Despite the Melbourne Rising fielding a number of players from the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby squad, including Fijian favourite Isi Naisarani, Sefanaia Naivalu and Kitone Ratu, the Drua Head Coach is keeping his sides focus on their own task at hand.

“We wont be concentrating too much on the individuals, rather I need the boys to just focus on our game plan and working hard to build that confidence in ourselves”.

Saturday’s day of rugby in Nausori will also see the Fiji Legends take on the Classic Wallabies including Stephen Moore, Lote Tuquiri, Radike Samo and Samu Kerevi at 2pm.
Tickets are on sale now for $10 from Nausori Town Council and the FRU with children under 12 free.

Round One NRC – Fiji Airways Drua to face the Melbourne Rising 

  1. Eroni Mawi
  2. Tuvere Vugakoto Veremalua
  3. Luke Tagi
  4. Peni Naulago
  5. Albert Tuisue
  6. Filimone Seru
  7. Mosese Voka
  8. Eremasi Radradro
  9. Frank Lomani
  10. Alivereti Veitokani
  11. Levani Kurumudu
  12. Cyril Reece
  13. Poasa Waqanibau
  14. Avete Daveta
  15. Apisalome Waqatubu

Reserve Bench:

  1. Ratunaisa Navuma
    17. Joeli Veitayaki
    18. Mosese Ducivaki
    19. Tevita Naqali
    20. Johnny Dyer
    21. Peni Raidre
    22. Serupepeli Vularika
    23. Enele Malele
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