Ben Volavola will start against Samoa.[Pic:Fiji Rugby-Facebook]
The Vodafone Flying Fijians have made eight changes and a few positional shifts for their showdown with Manu Samoa in their last Pacific Nations Cup match in Lautoka.
Eroni Mawi gets his first start at loosehead and will combine with regular starters Sam Matavesi at hooker and Manasa Saulo.
Tevita Ratuva comes back into the starting 15 and will lock up with Apisalome Ratuniyarawa.
Isoa Nasilasila moves to flanker partnering with the impressive Rusiate Nasove while Albert Tuisue remains at number eight.
In the backline, Frank Lomani will pair up with Ben Volavola while there’s a new midfield combination of captain Waisea Nayacalevu and Vilimoni Botitu.
Vinaya Habosi gets his third start at left wing with Jiuta Wainiqolo on the right and France-based Setareki Tuicuvu will be at fullback.
Levani Botia has not been named in the match day squad due to an injury.
Flying Fijians coach Vern Cotter says he is confident of the players named to take on their pacific rival.
“It’s a chance to play 80 minutes in a test match against Samoa an important game on home soil and we want to show some of our trademark character and we want to see them be themselves, be strong and play together so there’s a whole lot of things in play but the most important thing is that we perform well as a team.”
Fiji hosts Samoa at 3:30pm on Saturday at Churchill Park in Lautoka and in the first match, Tonga faces Australia A at 12pm.
Both games will air LIVE on the FBC Sports channel.
Flying Fijians Lineup: