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Fiji make 10 changes for Namibia World Cup match

Fiji make 10 changes for Namibia World Cup match

No. 8 Sisa Koiyamabole has returned to his Fiji home from the World Cup in New Zealand to care for an ill son and will miss at least the opening match agianst Namibia.
Coach Samu Domoni says the team is comfortable with the decision.
"We'd rather him go there and sort out the situation than playing here and worrying about it from far away," Domoni said.
Koiyamabole, the team's most experienced forward, will miss a match at the World Cup for the first time in his career, having played in all nine of Fiji's matches in 2003 and 2007.
Domoni announced 10 changes to the starting lineup to meet Namibia in their World Cup opener in Rotorua on Saturday.
London Welsh flyhalf Waisea Luveniyali retained his spot ahead of Nicky Little, who is set to appear in a Fiji record fourth World Cup.
"Waisea has matured into his role and he's much fitter than when he came in to play against the Wallabies in 2009," Domoni said. "The maturity that he's shown and the confidence with the people that are around him gives him the edge over Nicky."
Only prop Campese Ma'afu and lock Wame Lewaravu in the forward pack kept their places after Fiji's last match, a 32-20 loss to Tonga in Lautoka three weeks ago.
In the backs, Luveniyali, winger Vereniki Goneva and fullback Kini Murimurivalu held their spots. Goneva has recovered from an ankle sprain but Saracens winger Michael Tagicakibau was still getting over a hamstring twinge.
Among those recalled were France-based center Seremaia Bai, the only player left from Fiji's last World Cup match, a defeat to South Africa in the 2007 quarterfinals.
Naipolioni Nalaga, who switched from Clermont to the Western Force this week, will appear for the first time since the loss to New Zealand in July in Dunedin. Only five players from that game will start on Saturday.
Fiji beat Namibia 67-18 in their only previous head-to-head match, at the 1999 World Cup in Beziers.
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Fiji: Kini Murimurivalu, Vereniki Goneva, Gaby Lovobalavu, Seremaia Bai, Naipolioni Nalaga, Waisea Luveniyali, Nemia Kenatale; Netani Talei, Mala Ravulo, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Wame Lewaravu, Leone Nakaraw, Deacon Manu (captain), Viliame Veikoso, Campese Ma'afu. Reserves: Sunia Koto, Waisea Nailago, Seko Kalou, Akapusi Qera, Vitori Buatava, Albert Vulivuli, Iliesa Keresoni.


Updated : 2021-04-15 08:29 GMT+08:00