Fijian’s flip for Force fling

The Swire Shipping Fijian Latui will roll out a new look side for their clash against the Western Force with eight changes to the starting XV for Saturday’s big game. Star halfback Frank Lomani is the headline inclusion in the backs, while fellow national squad member Tuvere Vugakoto will start at hooker.

After scoring the winning try in a thrilling last gasp win over Kagifa Samoa a week ago, Ifereimi Tovilevu has been elevated into the run-on side with hard running back John Stewart, who scored a brace against the Samoan’s, switching from the 13 jersey to inside centre to accommodate Tovilevu’s inclusion.

Impressive loose forward Johnny Dyer will make his run on debut for Fijian Latui after having a huge influence off the bench last week. Dyer made an instant impact when he came on after half time, scoring Fiji’s first try of the second half and consistently injecting himself into the play.

NADI, FIJI – MAY 18: Johnny Dyer of Fijian Latui scores a try during the Rapid Rugby match between Fijian Latui and Kagifa Samoa at Churchill Park on May 18, 2019 in Nadi, Fiji. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Coach Senirusi Seruvakula said he is looking forward to seeing how the side’s new combinations work against a Western Force team that is unbeaten in their 2019 Global Rapid Rugby campaign to date.

“Western Force is an experienced team and have marshalled the rules of Rapid Rugby well, so they will come firing at us on Saturday. We need to be more determined and avoid basic errors which we made last weekend against Kagifa Samoa,” Seruvakula said.

Western Force head coach Tim Sampson has tweaked his starting team with four changes to the XV that won a fortnight ago in Hong Kong against the South China Tigers.

Fijian rugby sevens gold medallist Masivesi Dakuwaqa will renew acquaintances with his fellow countrymen having been named on the wing and is joined by fullback Jack McGregor. Prop Markus Vanzati will make his first start for the club while Chris Alcock is the other change in the Force forward pack.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 29: Andrew Deegan of the Force pass the ball during the Global Rapid Rugby match between the Western Force and South China Tigers at HBF Stadium on March 29, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Key playmaker Andrew Deegan makes a welcome return to the match-day squad after overcoming a hand injury that has kept him sidelined since early April. Deegan started the year in sensational form and will be looking to make an instant impact when he gets his opportunity off the pine.

Fijian Latui v Western Force

Saturday, 25 May 2019
Churchill Park, Lautoka, Fiji, 3.10pm kick off


Vodafone Vanua Championship: Lautoka v Yasawa from 12.00pm

Ticket Information – find out more

Fijian Latui

Starting XV: 1.Eroni MAWI, 2.Tuvere VUGAKOTO, 3.Luke TAGI, 4.Peni NAULAGO, 5.Tuifagalele SOROVAKASTINI, 6.Mosese VOKA (C), 7.Elia CANAKAIVATA, 8.Johnny DYER, 9.Frank LOMANI, 10.Tuidraki SAMUSAMUVODRE, 11.Joeli LUTUMAILAGI, 12.John STEWART, 13.Ifereimi TOVILEVU, 14.Apisalome WAQATABU, 15.Enele TIKOTANI MALELE

Reserves: 16.Mesulame DOLOKOTO 17.Joeli VEITAYAKI, 18.Apisai VATUBULI, 19.Filimoni SERU, 20.Peni RAIDRE, 21.Seru VULARIKA, 22.Apisalome VOTA, 23.Tira PATTERSON WILAGI

Western Force

Starting XV: 1.Markus VANZATI, 2.Heath TESSMANN, 3.Kieran LONGBOTTOM, 4.Johan BARDOUL, 5.Fergus LEE-WARNER, 6.Henry STOWERS, 7.Chris ALCOCK, 8.Brynard STANDER, 9.Issak FINES-LELEIWASA, 10.AJ ALATIMU, 11.Brad LACEY, 12.Henry TAEFU, 13.Marcel BRACHE (C), 14.Masivesi DAKUWAQA, 15.Jack MCGREGOR

Reserves: 16.Feleti KAITU’U, 17.Harrison LLOYD, 18.Tom SHEMINANT, 19.Leon POWER, 20.Tevin FERRIS, 21.Rory O’SULLIVAN, 22.Andrew DEEGAN, 23.Clay UYEN

Match officials

Referee: Angus MABEY, AR1: Kaveni TALEMAIVALAGI, AR2: David VOSALEVU

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