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Eleven new caps for Fiji

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Eleven new caps were named Sunday in a 24-man Fiji rugby squad for next week’s first Pacific Nations Cup match against Samoa in Apia.

Fiji’s 2003 World Cup captain, Ro Alifereti Doviverata, was named to lead the side for the May 19 match in an indication he may also captain the team at this year’s World Cup in France.

Prop Alefoso Yalayalatabua, Nadroga’s Tiko Matawalu, lock Wame Lewaravu and New Zealand-based Tomasi Soqeta and Graham Deves are newcomers among the forwards.

Fullback Taniela Rawaqa, fly-half Waisale Luveniyali, winger Vereniki Goneva, Gabriel Lovobalavu, Vesi Rauluni and former Western Force utility Vitori Buatava will make their debuts among the backs.

Viliame Gadolo, Japan-based Dan Baleinadogo and fly-half Jack Prasad have earned national recalls.

Fiji coach Ilivasi Tabua said he was pleased with the players chosen after a trial match Saturday.

“Although we don’t have all our top players available as yet, I’m sure these players have the capability of doing Fiji proud,” Tabua said.

Fijian squad: Alefoso Yalayalatabua, Apisai Turukawa, Bill Gadolo, Graham Deves, Wame Lewaravu, Alifereti Doviverata, Tomasi Soqeta, Akapusi Qera, Tiko Matawalu, Kele Leawere, Langi Peters, Netani Talei, Seveci Taka, Waisale Luveniyali, Jack Prasad, Epeli Ruivadra, Gabriele Lovobalavu, Marika Vakacegu, Dan Baleinadogo, Vesi Rauluni, Vitori Buatava, Vereniki Goneva, Taniela Rawaqa.

Non-travelling reserves: Rupeni Nasiga, Derek Thomas, Dale Tonawai, Seru Rogo, Michael Tagicakibau, Isoa Neivua.

SAPA-AP

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