11 Nov 2016

Sport: Fiji give Suva-based players exposure vs Barbarians

1:34 pm on 11 November 2016

Suva-based Jale Sassen has been named at hooker for the Flying Fijians in the team to play their northern tour opener against the Barbarians this weekend.

The former Fiji U20 player is one of five locally based players in the tour squad.

His fellow Suva clubmate Mosese Voka will play his second match on the openside.

Coach John McKee said the opening fixture provides a good chance for some players to impress.

"It is an opportunity to introduce a few new players to the squad and given them some good game-time," he said.

"With our players coming in we know some have had a big workload and could do with a rest this week or just come off the bench, whereas other players that need some good game-time this is an important game for them.

"You will see the core of our test match team there but you will also see a couple of new faces in there and a couple of the local boys from Fiji will get an opportunity."

Fiji rugby coach John McKee.

Fiji rugby coach John McKee. Photo: AFP

Mckee said the Barbarians game is an ideal first up fixture for the team and should play into their strengths, provided they don't lose focus.

"The game you'd expect would be a little bit more open, which suits our style of play, but we don't want to get caught up too much in just playing a Barbarians game and getting away from the core areas of our game," Mckee said.

"Certainly this is a big game, it's an international game, and core areas in our set-play have to be spot on and our ball-winning and also to work hard to create opportunities and not just expect it to open up for us."

Brad Shield playing for the Barbarians against the Springboks in 2016

Brad Shields playing against the Springboks, the Hurricanes loosie will be donning the Barbarians jersey again vs Fiji Photo: Photosport

The full team to play the Barbarians is:

1 Campese Ma'afu

2 Jale Sassen

3 Manasa Saulo

4 Api Ratuniyawara

5 Dominiko Waqaniburotu

6 Naulia Dawai

7 Mosese Voka

8 Akapusi Qera (C)

9 Serupepeli Vularika

10 Ben Volavola

11 Nemani Nadolo

12 Albert Vulivuli

13 Asaeli Tikorotuma

14 Waisea Nayacalevu

15 Benito Masilevu

16 Sunia Koto

17 Joeli Veitayaki

18 Leeroy Atalifo

19 Nemia Soqeta

20 Eremasi Radrodro

21 Nemia Kenatale

22 Metuisela Talebula

23 Vatemo Ravouvou