Droasese returns to Drua line-up

March 6, 2024 4:51 pm

[Source: Fijian Drua/ Facebook]

Fullback Ilaisa Droasese will make his return to the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua in their clash against the Crusaders this weekend.

The lanky speedster missed the first two rounds of the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific with a knee injury he picked up from the pre-season games against the Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels.

Droasese will form the back three combination with wingers Epeli Momo and Selestino Ravutaumada.

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Coach Mick Byrne has made no other changes to his backline from the opening two round defeats to the Blues and Moana Pasifika with Frank Lomani and Isaiah Armstrong-Ravula retained at halfback and fly half respectively.

The midfield pair of Apisalome Vota and Iosefo Masi have also been retained for this weekend’s match.

There are four changes in the forwards however, with Haereiti Hetet replacing Livai Natave, Jone Koroiduadua comes in for Mesake Doge while Leone Rotuisolia replaces the injured Isoa Nasilasila.

Vilive Miramira will make his first outing this year at openside flanker in place of Elia Canakaivata, who drops to the bench.

Hooker Tevita Ikanivere, lock Mesake Vocevoce, blindside flanker Etonia Waqa and captain and number 8 Meli Derenalagi have all retained their spots.

The impact players include Mesulame Dolokoto, Natave, Doge, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Canakaivata, Simione Kuruvoli, Kemu Valetini and Junior Ratuva.

Byrne is hoping the 36 degrees temperatures recorded this week in the Western Division will have an impact on the Crusaders, but adds the Drua will still need to stick to their game plan to have any chance of picking up their first win this season.

“We’ve got to maximize that opportunity when sides come here and feel that but it’s like having the wind and sun behind you. It means nothing if you don’t go out and perform. You still have to go out there and play your game at 100% and that’s what we need to focus on. No one is going to get the victory for us but ourselves.”

The Fijian Drua will host the Crusaders at Churchill Park on Saturday at 1:05pm and you can watch it live on FBC Sports HD Channel.