16 Nov 2018

Sport: Flying Fijians change six for Uruguay clash

1:32 pm on 16 November 2018

Former sevens star Eroni Sau will make his test debut for the Flying Fijians this weekend among six changes to the starting side to face Uruguay in Gloucestershire, England.

The 28 year old Perpignan winger will start on the left wing at Hartpury College, with Toulon's Josua Tuisova on the other flank and Metuisela Talebula shifting to fullback in place of Setareki Tuicuvu, who was injured in the 54-17 defeat by Scotland.

In the other backline changes, Henry Seniloli starts at halfback, with Frank Lomani dropping to the bench, and Vereniki Goneva replaces Semi Radradra at centre.

Eroni Sau was named World Series rookie of the year.

Former sevens star Eroni Sau will make his Flying Fijians debut. Photo: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Radradra was unavailable for selection after his return to the Fiji camp was delayed due to a French Judiciary hearing. He was cleared of all charges.

Mesulame Dolokoto and Albert Tuisue will make their first test starts at hooker and lock respectively, replacing Sam Matavesi and Tevita Cavubati.

Dolokoto, who made his debut off the bench in Edinburgh last weekend, is replaced by Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto in the reserves, with fellow Fijian Drua teammates Eroni Mawi, Mosese Voka, Frank Lomani and Alivereti Veitokani poised to make an impact later in the game.

Another former sevens star Semi Kunatani makes his first start of the season at openside flanker, with Peceli Yato shifting to number eight in place of Viliame Mata.

Leone Nakarawa was yellow carded in Fiji's defeat in Scotland.

Leone Nakarawa was yellow carded in Fiji's defeat in Scotland. Photo: AFP

Uruguay have played two warm up matches against Cardiff and Ulster to prepare for this weekend and Flying Fijians coach John McKee is wanting to see big improvements from his side.

"Defence and discipline will be a focus for this match," he said.

"Uruguay will look to test us through the driving maul, so effective maul defence without conceding penalties will be vital.

"We expect they will look to play when they have the ball so we will need to work hard in our defensive system to deny them opportunities to score."

"...Although our penalty count was low last week critical penalties conceded allowed the opposition to dominate field position and put us under pressure. Two yellow cards was two too many."

Fiji squad:

1. Campese Maafu, 2. Mesulame Dolokoto, 3. Manasa Saulo, 4. Albert Tuisue, 5. Leone Nakarawa, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu (c), 7. Semi Kunatani, 8. Peceli Yato, 9. Henry Seniloli, 10. Ben Volavolva, 11. Eroni Sau, 12. Jale Vatabua, 13. Vereniki Goneva, 14. Josua Tuisova, 15. Metuisela Talebula.

Reserves: Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto, Eroni Mawi, Kalivati Tawake, Tevita Cavubati, Mosese Voka, Frank Lomani, Alivereti Veitokani, Eroni Vasiteri.