23 Nov 2018

Sport: Flying Fijians name strongest team to face France

8:09 am on 23 November 2018

The Flying Fijians have named their strongest team to face France in Paris this weekend, in the final match of their November rugby tour.

There are six changes to the team that began the 68-7 win against Uruguay, with hooker Sam Matavesi, lock Tevita Cavubati, flanker Peceli Yato, number eight Viliame Mata, halfback Frank Lomani and centre Semi Radradra all restored to the starting fifteen.

Semi Radradra scored one of Fiji's two tries at Murrayfield.

Semi Radradra scored one of Fiji's two tries at Murrayfield. Photo: AFP

Vereniki Goneva returns to the left wing after filling in at centre last weekend, while Mesulame Dolokoto, Albert Tuisue, Semi Kunatani, Henry Seniloli and Eroni Sau are on the bench.

Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto, Mosese Voka and Eroni Vasiteri drop out of the matchday 23.

The Flying Fijians have never beaten France in nine tests but head coach John McKee believes his team are more than capable of making history.

"With many players performing well last week against Uruguay, there were some hard questions posed around selection this week, and the team to run on the field is the team we believe will beat France" he said.

Edinburgh star Viliame Mata is back for the Flying Fijians.

Edinburgh star Viliame Mata is back for the Flying Fijians. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"They will go into the last game of the November Test series with some confidence from their win against Argentina. We know that once again we must be on top of our game in our team defence and to counter their maul."

"The team has trained well this week and are very much looking forward to the contest at Stade de France in Paris. Our players are very aware of the strengths and weakness of the French players as they play against them in the France Top 14 & European Cup matches."

"Against Uruguay we kept our standards up right through the game, not only in attack but worked hard in defence and having another week of preparation and game behind us holds us in good stead for the final test in the series this weekend."

Fiji squad:

1. Campese Maafu, 2. Sam Matavesi, 3. Manasa Saulo, 4. Tevita Cavubati, 5. Leone Nakarawa, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu (c), 7. Peceli Yato, 8. Viliame Mata,

9. Frank Lomani, 10. Ben Volavola, 11. Vereniki Goneva, 12. Jale Vatabua, 13. Semi Radradra, 14. Josua Tuisova, 15. Metuisela Talebula.

Reserves: 16. Mesulame Dolokoto, 17. Eroni Mawi, 18. Kalivati Tawake, 19. Albert Tuisue, 20. Semi Kunatani, 21. Henry Seniloli, 22. Alivereti Veitokani, 23. Eroni Sau.

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