Fiji have named their 34-player squad for the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup.
After their inaugural Super Rugby Pacific season, the Fijian Drua dominate the side with 16 players named for the competition against Australia A, Tonga and Samoa.
“It’s very exciting and a real honour for us to present the first Flying Fijians squad of 2022 to the Fijian people”, Fiji coach Vern Cotter said in a statement.
“We have selected a squad from the best available players playing in the world’s top competitions, and I’m buoyed by the depth in Fiji Rugby at the moment.
"The Fijian Drua players come to us battle-hardened after their impressive first season in Super Rugby Pacific, and they will compete fiercely for spots with those players returning from the French Top 14 and English Premiership Rugby.”
Explosive winger Vinaya Habosi is one of ten debutants named for Fiji, joined by Drua teammates Kalaveti Ravouvou and Apisalome Vota.
Force winger Manasa Mataele has also earned selection, with former Crusaders teammate and All Black Seta Tamanivalu making his nationality switch official.
“Making the national 15s team is the dream of every Fijian player," Fiji Rugby Chief Executive John O’Connor added.
"On behalf of the FRU President and our Chairman, I would like to congratulate our 34 players who will don the revered white and black Flying Fijians jersey in July right here at home, in front of our people. It will be a Test series to remember, and I know the team will make our fans proud.
“Test rugby is returning to Fiji after three years and we thank World Rugby for selecting Fiji as the host nation for the PNC. There will be fierce Pacific rivalry on the field as the best players from our region go head-to-head!
"It will be a fantastic occasion with brilliant, power rugby, as fans get to witness their favourite Flying Fijians and visiting Tonga, Samoan and Australian stars in person. Ticket details will be announced shortly and we encourage fans to secure these early!”
Flying Fijians July Squad
Loose Head Prop
Tight Head Prop
Ratu Leone Rotusolia
Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta
Pacific Nations Cup schedule
Saturday 2 July, ANZ Stadium, Suva:
- 1:00pm: Australia A vs Samoa
- 3:30pm: Flying Fijians vs Tonga
Saturday 9 July, Churchill Park, Lautoka:
- 12:00pm: Samoa vs Tonga
- 3:30pm: Flying Fijians vs Australia A
Saturday 16 July, Churchill Park, Lautoka:
- 1:00pm: Tonga vs Australia A
- 3:30pm: Flying Fijians vs Samoa