Raitini try impresses for Flying Fijians debut

Wings clash . . . Alipate Ratini (with ball) of Grenoble is tackled by Metuisela Talebula of Bordeaux. Photo: Skysports

Wings clash . . . Alipate Ratini (with ball) of Grenoble is tackled by Metuisela Talebula of Bordeaux in an earlier Top 14 match. Photo: Skysports

Flying Fijian Ratu Alipate Raitini  scorched away for a try from an offload up the middle before the half time break keeping his visiting Grenoble side in touch 14-17 against Toulon at the Stade Mayol on Sunday but eventully losing 28-61 in the Top 14.

The try was Raitini’s ninth touchdown of the season which will bode well for his chances for selection by Flying Fijian coach John McKee for a debut against France at the Velodrome in Marseille on Saturday.

Raitini is in the Flying Fijian squad but has tough competition from senior wingers Watisoni Votu, Timoci Nagusa and Metuisela Talebula for a spot against the French.

Stade Francais centre Waisea Nayacalevu was impressive scoring two tries in their defeat of Metuisela Talebula’s Bordeaux on Saturday which will increase his chances to start with the number 12 spot for Nemani Nadolo who has been delayed for the November tour with an ankle injury.

Nayacalevu who has been included in the squad as a non-traveling reserve after Nadolo stayed back for some rehabilitation will be a good replacement but will have to compete for the spot with Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Levani Botia and Josh Matavesi also in contention depending on the the style of play McKee will employ.

McKee confirmed Nadolo has contacted the team and will be available for the next Test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on November 15.

Non-traveling hooker Sunia Koto has also been moved into the squad after the withdrawal of Viliame Veikoso. Veikoso misses the tour after some visa issues with his new move to club rugby in Europe.

Fiji three match tour kicks off when they plays France at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles on Saturday, November 8; against Wales at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday, November 15 and against the US  on Friday, November 21 at the Stade de la Rabine at Vannes, France.

Flying Fijians 30-man-squad:
Forwards: Campese Ma’afu, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Manasa Saulo, Taniela Koroi, Isei Colati, Peni Ravai, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Sunia Koto, Api Ratuniyarawa, Leone Nakarawa, Tevita Cavubati, Nemia Soqeta, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Nemani Nagusa, Akapusi Qera, Malakai Ravulo, Masi Matadigo.
Backs: Nikola Matawalu, Henry Seniloli, Nemia Kenatale, Jonetani Ralulu, Josh Matavesi, Waisea Nayacalevu, Vereniki Goneva, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Watisoni Votu, Alipate Raitini, Timoci Nagusa, Metuisela Talebula, Levani Botia. Nemani Nadolo will join the team later. Non-traveling reserve: Leroy Atalifo, Samisoni Viriviri.

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Filed under Europe Fiji players, Fijian players, Flying Fijians, French Club, November Tests, Top 14

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