McKee confident Fiji will rise to the challenge

Skipper Akapusi Qera overcomes the opposition against the Cook Islands during Fiji's qualifications matches to the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: World Rugby

Skipper Akapusi Qera overcomes the opposition against the Cook Islands during Fiji’s qualifications matches to the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: World Rugby

Akapusi Qera captains a Fijian RWC 2015 squad that boasts an array of attacking talent even with the loss of Napolioni Nalaga, who has failed to recover from injury in time. Nalaga has been named as one of seven non-travelling reserves.

However, Crusaders star Nemani Nadolo, who missed Fiji’s World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2015 title-winning campaign due to a leg injury, does take his place in the squad after undergoing a successful rehabilitation period.

Ben Volavola’s impressive showing in the Pacific Nations Cup has earned the former Australia U20 international a call up at fly-half where he will compete with Lepani Boti, Gabby Lovobalavu and Josh Matavesi for the number 10 jersey.

Qera, who will be appearing in his third Rugby World Cup, will be assisted by vice-captains, centre Vereniki Goneva and hooker Sunia Koto.

McKee pleased with talent at his disposal

“I am very pleased to announce a very strong and experienced team to represent Fiji at RWC 2015,” John McKee said.

“After the successful Pacific Nations Cup campaign and current training camp here in Fiji the squad is working well towards the challenges ahead in the UK at RWC 2015.

“Pool A is a very challenging pool and I have every confidence that this team will rise to the challenge and bring their best game to every match at the World Cup.

“Challenges such as those ahead of us bring out the best in top competitors and top teams.

“With this talented group of rugby players, fiercely proud of representing their country, I believe we have a team of players who will bring their best game to the biggest contest in international rugby.”

Fiji face hosts England in the opening match at 20:00 on 18 September at Twickenham. They will then tackle Australia on 23 September, Wales on 1 October and Uruguay on 6 October in their remaining Pool A matches.

Fiji RWC 2015 squad:

Forwards: Lee Roy Atalifo, Isei Colati, Campese Ma’afu, Peni Ravai, Manasa Saulo, Sunia Koto (vice-captain), Tuapati Talemaitoga, Viliame Veikoso, Tevita  Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Nemia Soqeta, Masi Matadigo, Akapusi Qera (captain), Malakai Ravulo, Netani Talei, Dom Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato.

Backs: Nemia Kenatale, Nikola Matawalu,Henry Seniloli, Lepani Botia, Gabby Lovobalavu, Josh Matavesi, Ben Volavola, Vereniki Goneva (vice-captain), Kini Murimurivalu, Nemani Nadolo, Waisea Nayacalevu, Metuisela Talebula, Asaeli Tikoirotuma.

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