25 May 2019

Sport: Fijian Latui expecting step up vs Western Force

11:49 am on 25 May 2019

The Fijian Latui have made nine changes to their starting line-up for Saturday's Global Rapid Rugby match against the Western Force in Lautoka.

Hooker Tuvere Vugakoto, lock Tuifagalele Soro, flanker Elia Canakaivata and number eight Johnny Dyer come into the forward pack, while Flying Fijians halfback Frank Lomani starts behind the scrum.

Out wide Joeli Lutumailagi lines up on the left wing, Enele Malele Tikotani starts at fullback, while Ifereimi Tovilevu comes into the centres after scoring the match-winning try against Kagifa Samoa last weekend.

"These players have been playing well for the provincial clubs in the Skipper Cup and are great potentials to match against an experienced Western Force on Saturday," said Latui head coach Senirusi Seruvakula.

Fijian Latui players in training.

Fijian Latui players in training. Photo: Facebook/Fiji Rugby

"Frank Lomani's inclusion will boost the side as he brings experience while Lutumailagi will add power and pace on the wings alongside Apisalome Waqatabu."

There's also a couple of positional changes for the home side with fellow try-scorer John Stewart moving in one spot second five, while Apisalome Waqatabu shifts to the right wing.

The Western Force won all six of their matches in Rapid Rugby's Asia Showcase and Seruvakula says the home side will need to step up their game.

"Our main focus is the breakdown - that we just need to be aggressive in the breakdown, that's what we're going to target (the Western Force) in and our defence that we need to be disciplined and work as a team," he said.

"Western Force is an experienced team and have marshalled the rules of Global Rapid Rugby well so they will come firing at us on Saturday. We need to be more determined and avoid basic errors which we made last weekend against Kagifa Samoa."

Senirusi Seruvakula.

Senirusi Seruvakula. Photo: Facebook/Fiji Rugby

Latui squad

1. Eroni Mawi, 2. Veremalua Vugakoto, 3.Luke Tagi, 4.Peni Naulago, 5.Tuifagalele Soro, 6.Mosese Voka, 7.Elia Canakaivata, 8.Johnny Dyer, 9.Frank Lomani, 10.Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, 11.Joeli Lutumailagi, 12.John Stewart, 13.Ifereimi Tovilevu, 14.Apisalome Waqatabu, 15.Enele Malele Tikotani.

Reserves: 16.Mesulame Dolokoto, 17.Joeli Veitayaki, 18.Apisai Vatubuli, 19.Filimoni Seru, 20.Peni Radire, 21.Seru Vularika, 22.Apisalome Vota, 23.Tira Patterson Wilagi.