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McKee makes four changes for clash against Wallabies

September 21, 2015 7:00 pm

Vodafone Flying Fijians coach John McKee has made four changes, all in the forwards for the second Rugby World Cup match against Australia on Thursday.

In comes hooker Tuapati Talemaitoga, Tevita Cavubati, Peceli Yato and veteran Netani Talei, who replace Sunia Koto, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Sakuisa Matadiogo respectively.

Also on the bench, Viliame Veikoso, Nemia Soqeta and Malakai Ravulo have come in for this match after being rested in the first game.

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The back-line is the same from the one which lost 35-11 to England on Saturday.

McKee says the always knew the changes would come in the forwards due to the short turn around between the two games.

“We get some fresh legs in there between Masi and Netani ,both experienced and very good number 8’s. That was almost a planned change. Netani is an experienced player, he hasn’t played for Fiji recently due to injury but a very experienced campaigner and a smart footballer.”

He adds, there was some thought given for the backs and in particular whether to go with Ben Volavola or Josh Matavesi at flyhalf.

“In the end, we’ve gone with the same backline combination. We believe that by keeping the combination, it will help us build on the performance against England.”

Meanwhile, Fijian Tevita Kuridrani will play against his cousin Nemani Nadolo, after being named in the starting team for Australia.

The game on Thursday sees the Aussies name seven World Cup debutants, including Kuridrani, Scott Sio, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, Bernard Foley, and Israel Folau.

The Wallabies have picked Hooper and David Pocock, who were instrumental for them in the win against New Zealand in the Rugby Championships in August.

The full team is as follows:

Campese Ma’afu, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Peceli Yato, Akapusi Qera (captain), Netani Talei, Nikola Matawalu, Ben Volavola, Nemani Nadolo, Gabiriele Lovobalavu, Vereniki Goneva, Waisea Nayacalevu, Metuisela Talebula.

Replacements-Viliame Veikoso, Peni Ravai, Isei Colati, Nemia Soqeta, Malakai Ravulo, Nemia Kenatale, Joshua Matavesi, Aseli Tikoirotuma.

Fiji meets Australia at 3:45am on Thursday and you can watch it live on FBC TV and a live commentary will air on Bula FM and Radio Fiji One.

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