25 Sep 2019

Sport: Fiji's fresh faces challenged to fire in next Rugby World Cup game against Uruguay

11:31 am on 25 September 2019

Fiji are asking their wider squad to step up and deliver in today's second Rugby World Cup pool game against Uruguay, after making 12 changes to their run-on team.

The Flying Fijians threatened an almighty upset against Australia on Saturday, leading the two-time champions for large periods of the game in Sapporo before fading in the final stages of the 39-21 defeat.

The Flying Fijians open their Rugby World Cup campaign against Australia.

The Flying Fijians open their Rugby World Cup campaign against Australia. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Leone Nakarawa and Semi Radradra are the only players asked to back up in the starting 15 against Uruguay and coach John McKee has challenged the new players in the team to put up their hands and play well.

"We need the fresh players to really show a lot of leadership in the game because we know that some of the players who played, especially a full game, against Australia although physically they're feeling pretty good mentally, they're real fatigued," McKee said.

"For those players coming in it's important they show leadership firstly to get a good performance against Uruguay (and) secondly those players have got to really put their hand up for selection the next match against Georgia."

In the forwards, Eroni Mawi, Mesulame Dolokoto and Manasa Saulo form an all-new front row, while Tevita Ratuva and Api Ratuniyarawa pair up at lock.

There's an injury enforced reshuffle in the back-row, with Peceli Yato (concussion) and Viliame Mata (calf) both ruled out of contention.

Waqaniburotu keeps his place on the blindside flank, while Yato's spot on the openside is filled by Mosese Voka, with Leone Nakarawa shifting to number eight.

Captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu is playing in his third World Cup.

Captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu is playing in his third World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Henry Seniloli and Josh Matavesi get the chance to impress in the halves, while second five Jale Vatubua and right winger Filipo Nakosi will also get their first minutes of the tournament.

Semi Radradra returns to the centres, having impressed on the left wing against the Wallabies, allowing Vereniki Goneva to get his first start of the tournament, with Alivereti Veitokani getting the nod at fullback.

Fiji squad:

Eroni Mawi, Mesulame Dolokoto, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Ratuva, Api Ratuniyarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu (c), Mosese Voka, Leone Nakarawa, Henry Seniloli, Josh Matavesi, Vereniki Goneva, Jale Vatubua, Semi Radradra, Filipo Nakosi, Alivereti Veitokani.

Reserves: Tuvere Vugakoto, Campese Ma'afu, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Tevita Cavubati, Samuel Matavesi, Nikola Matawalu, Ben Volavola, Levani Botia.

When will Fiji play at the Rugby World Cup?

The first game was against Australia. It was close but Fiji lost 39-21.

The second game is against Uruguay on Wednesday 25 September at 2.15pm Japanese Time.

That means the local timing of the match is:

Suva: Wednesday 5.15 pm

Auckland: Wednesday 5.15pm

Sydney: Wednesday 3.15pm

Fiji will play its third pool match against Georgia on Thursday October 3 at 2.15 pm.

Suva: Thursday 5.15 pm

Auckland: Thursday 6.15pm

Sydney: Thursday 3.15pm

It will play Wales on Wednesday at 6.45pm.

Suva: Wednesday 9.45 pm

Auckland: Wednesday 10.45pm

Sydney: Wednesday 8.45pm

When will the final of the Rugby World Cup be held?

The final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in Yokohama on Saturday, November 2 at 6pm.

The kick-off in local times will be:

Suva: Saturday 9pm

Auckland: Saturday 10pm

Sydney: Saturday 8pm

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