(RUGBY HOUSE – SUVA) – 09 MAY 2014 – The Fiji Rugby Union today announced the extended Vodafone Flying Fijians extended squad in their quest to qualify for the next Rugby World Cup in London in 2015.
Speaking to local media at the Rugby House today the newly-appointed Vodafone Flying Fijians Coach John McKee said that the team has been selected on current form and all of the players have expressed a special desire to represent their country with pride.
They extended team is a combination of both 27 overseas-based players and 12 local players and include:
- Jerry Yanuyanutawa – Glasgow Warriors (Scotland)
- Campese Ma’afu – Nottingham (England)
- Sunia Koto – Narbonne (France)
- Tuapati Talemaitoga – Southland (New Zealand)
- Bill Veikoso – Suva
- Isei Colati – Nevers (France)
- Manasa Saulo – Suva
- Setefano Samoca – Nadroga
- Wame Lewaravu – Stade Montois (France)
- Leone Nakarawa – Glasgow Warriors (Scotland)
- Api Ratuniyarawa – Agen (France)
- Rupeni Nasiga – Nadroga
- Dominiko Waqaniburotu – Brive (France)
- Malakai Ravulo – RCJ Farul (Romania)
- Akapusi Qera – Toulouse (France)
- Nemani Nagusa – Nadroga
- Netani Talei – Newport Dragons (Wales)
- Nikola Matawalu – Glasgow Warriors (Scotland)
- Nemia Kenatale – RCJ Farul (Romania)
- Jonetani Ralulu – Nadroga
- Levani Botia – La Rochelle (France)
- Adriu Delai – Tarbes (France)
- Nemani Nadolo – Crusaders (New Zealand)
- Vereniki Goneva – Leicester (England)
- Napolioni Nalaga – Clermont (France)
- Asaeli Tikoirotuma – Chiefs (New Zealand)
- Waisea Nayacalevu – Stade Francais (France)
- Sireli Bobo – La Rochelle (France)
- Metuisela Talebula – Bordeaux (France)
- Timoci Nagusa – Montpellier (France)
- Sione Kolo – Western Force
- Leroy Atalifo – Suva
- Sekonaia Kalou – Nadroga
- Apisai Naikatini – Brive (France)
- Nemia Soqeta – Oyonnax (France)
- Emori Waqa – Tailevu
- Henry Seniloli – Tailevu
- Watisoni Votu – Perpignan (France)
- Samisoni Viriviri – Nadroga
“I have been spending time in the last 3 months in my role as the High Performance Unit (PHU) Manager tracking overseas based players as well as watching local players in the training environment and their individual performances during the Pacific Rugby Cup,” McKee mentioned.
Akapusi Qera who currently plays in Toulouse in France was also named Captain of the Vodafone Flying Fijians. Qera was Team Captain last year and to date has a total of 35 full international caps for Fiji.
When asked about his confidence in the selection? McKee said that this squad is a very talented group of players who have the individual and collective ability to achieve great things.
“Fiji must first qualify and it’s not wise for us to get ahead of ourselves now, McKee said.
He said the focus for now should be on each of the matches in June and on winning the RWC2015 qualifying match against Cook Islands on the 28th of June at Churchill Park, Lautoka.
“Overseas based players will start arriving from the middle of next week as major European competitions are now ending.
“Super Rugby players arrive on the 1st of June,” he added.
McKee is also working on a short-list of Assistants and Managers and will present his recommendations to the Board in the coming week.
“I encourage the rugby public to get behind the Vodafone Flying Fijians, especially for the upcoming matches in June.
“Your support can help lift the team to new levels of performance,” McKee concluded. He said the final team of 30 will be named on the 26th of June.