McKee names team-Qera to earn 50th cap
September 29, 2015 6:57 pm
Vodafone Flying Fijians skipper Akapusi Qera will make his 50th appearance when the national side takes on Wales in the Rugby World Cup on Friday.
Coach John McKee has made six changes in his team with Qera’s 50th being the highlight.
Qera is the third player to win 50 caps for Fiji, following Nicky Little (71) and Seremaia Bai (50).
He says it is a grand achievement for him.
“It’s an honor to have my 50th Test cap in one of the iconic places in the world, the Millennium Stadium; it’s an honor for me, my wife, my kids and my family as a whole.”
In the changes, Sunia Koto comes in at hooker to replace Tuapati Talemaitoga and Dominiko Waqaniburotu returns from suspension to take his spot at flanker, replacing Peceli Yato.
In the backs, Nemia Kentale gets his first start at halfback, while Lepani Botia also makes his bow at the World Cup at inside centre.
There are two new wingers for this game with Asaeli Tikoimairotuma and Timoci Nagusa called up to start in place of the suspended Nemani Nadolo and injured Waisea Nayacalevu.
On the bench, there is also a possibility of World Cup debuts for Leeroy Atalifo and Henry Seniloli, while Kini Murimurivalu also could make his first appearance for RWC 2015.
McKee says he has gone with his best line-up and in particular Botia, who is a devastating ball runner.
“We know Levani well. He’s a very strong player, he been biting at the bit to get his opportunity. He was a very strong player for us in the PNC and I’m sure he will do very well for us on Thursday (Friday).”
The full team is as follows:
Campese Ma’afu, Sunia Koto, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera (Captain), Netani Talei, Nemia Kenatale, Ben Volavola, Aseli Tikoirotuma, Lepani Botia, Vereniki Goneva, Timoci Nagusa, Metuisela Talebula.
Reserves: Viliame Veikoso, Peni Ravai , Leeroy Atalifo, Nemia Soqeta, Malakai Ravulo, Henry Seniloli, Joshua Matavesi, Kini Murimurivalu.
Wales will host the Flying Fijians at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff at 3:45am on Friday and you can watch it live on FBC TV.
And for all of Fiji’s match commentaries, tune in to Bula FM and Radio Fiji One.
Meanwhile in the lone match this morning, Tonga defeated Namibia 35-21 in a Pool C encounter.