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Fijians ‘England line-up’ to face Canada

The national team doing workouts in the Aldershot Army Base in London yesterday. Photo: FRU

The national team doing workouts in the Aldershot Army Base in London yesterday. Photo: FRU

The Vodafone Flying Fijians team to take on Canada in a Rugby World Cup build-up match on Monday will consist of players who are likely to start against England.

The Canada match will be the last hit out for the Fijians before taking on the hosts, England in the opening match of the World Cup on September 19.

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Flying Fijians hit the training ground in England

From left; Metuisela Talebula, Levani Botia, Peceli Yato and Masinivanua Matadigo relax after a pool session in Aldershot Army Base this morning. Photo: FRU

From left; Metuisela Talebula, Levani Botia, Peceli Yato and Masinivanua Matadigo relax after a pool session in Aldershot Army Base this morning. Photo: FRU

The Vodafone Flying Fijians team hit the ground running yesterday in London ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The side had a training session followed by a pool session and then the coaches had a one on one meeting with players at their hotel.

Fiji is preparing for a build-up match with Canada on Sunday.

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Nalaga suffers injury blow

Nalaga's surgery will force him not to be available for Fiji for the RWC. Photo: HeraldSun

Nalaga’s surgery will force him not to be available for Fiji for the RWC. Photo: HeraldSun

Fiji winger Napolioni Nalaga will be out for six weeks after undergoing an operation on his injured knee on Thursday.

The prolific Lyon finisher was left out of Fiji’s squad for the World Cup, but was expected to be fit enough to step in if required with John McKee naming him on a back-up list.

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South Africa could be barred from Rugby World Cup by court action

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Springboks coach Heineke Meyer said he had fulfilled the quota for coloured players in the squad. Photo: Getty Images

South Africa, one of the favourites for the World Cup, will be prevented from taking part in the tournament if a court action this week succeeds. The Agency for New Agenda (ANA) party is taking the South African Rugby Union to court in Pretoria seeking an order that would force players and officials to surrender their passports, preventing them from flying to London on the grounds that the government’s policy on transformation has not been met with the Springboks’ squad, which was announced last Friday, being mainly white.

Edward Mahlomola Mokhoanatse, the ANA president, said: “The action is a public duty to defend our constitution and to consign to the rubbish bin of history all vestiges and remnants of racial bigotry, racial exclusion and discrimination. Mokhoanatse added he would be asking the North Gauteng high court to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into “the lack of transformation in South Africa rugby”.

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Wallabies great Smith tips England and Wales to bow out in ‘pool of death’

England faces Wales in the Six Nations competition. Photo: Stuff

England faces Wales in the Six Nations competition. Photo: Stuff

Wallabies great George Smith is happily playing the Grim Reaper in the leadup to the Rugby World Cup, predicting heavyweights Wales and England won’t qualify from the “pool of death”.

The two northern stalwarts are grouped with Australia, Fiji and Uruguay with just two teams advancing to the quarterfinals.

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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.

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Canada loses to Samoa on final play at Pacific Nations Cup

Samoan Anthony Perenise evades a tackle from Canadian Ray Barkwill in their match in Toronto. Photo: The Canadian Press

Samoan Anthony Perenise evades a tackle from Canadian Ray Barkwill in their match in Toronto. Photo: The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Samoa scored a last-second try to hand Canada a crushing 21-20 defeat in the Pacific Nations Cup rugby tournament Wednesday.

Canada had seemed destined for victory after Phil Mackenzie’s slashing run for a try in the 75th minute lifted the home side to a 20-16 lead.

But after Canada stole a Samoan lineout on the Canadian goalline with the clock running down, two Canadians collided and the ball spilled loose, only for Samoa’s Sakaria Taulafo to dive on it for the winning try.

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