Lomani returns for must win clash

May 29, 2024 4:13 pm

Frank Lomani will make his return from a six-week suspension for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua’s must-win clash against the Melbourne Rebels in Lautoka this weekend.

Lomani takes up the halfback position in one of five changes from the side that lost to the Highlanders last week.

Coach Mick Byrne has called up prop Haereiti Hetet in place of the injured Jone Koroiduadua, Leone Rotuisolia comes in at lock, pushing Isoa Nasilasila to the bench.

Article continues after advertisement

Skipper Meli Derenalagi returns to the number 8 position ahead of Elia Canakaivata while in an interesting choice, young centre Waqa Nalaga replaces Epeli Momo on the wing.

Coach Mick Byrne says Lomani has been a true leader while serving his suspension for elbowing Melbourne Rebels lock Josh Canham in their round seven clash earlier this year.

“Frank has been awesome. He’s led the team well. He’s led the non-starting team well in opposition in preparation. He’s the ultimate professional and the one thing we know about Frank is that he is the fittest guy in the club.”

In an otherwise unchanged line-up, Tevita Ikanivere is at hooker with Mesake Doge at loosehead prop.

Rotuisolia will partner Mesake Vocevoce in the second-row with Etonia Waqa and Kitione Salawa named on the flanks.

Isaiah Armstrong- Ravula returns to fly half duties while Kemu Valetini and Iosefo Masi will pair up again in the midfield.

Selestino Ravutaumada is on the right wing with Ilaisa Droasese at fullback.

Byrne has also named a strong bench including Zuriel Togiatama, Livai Natave, Samu Tawake, Nasilasila, Motikiai Murray, Canakaivata, Simi Kuruvoli and Caleb Muntz.

The Drua face the Melbourne Rebels at 2:05pm on Saturday at Churchill Park.

You can watch it LIVE on FBC Sports.