Fiji eyes sevens star Viriviri
Fiji's Samisoni Viriviri in action during the Glasgow Sevens pool match against Wales, part of the IRB Sevens World Series, at Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, on May 3, 2014 - by Andy Buchanan
The squad, which includes 28 overseas-based players, will be whittled down to 30 before Fiji begin their defence of the Pacific Nations Cup next month and their World Cup qualifier against the Cook Islands.
"It's a very strong squad with a good balance of experience and younger players," newly appointed coach John McKee said Saturday.
"I have included a lot of Europe-based players because they are very experienced and they play week in week out, but I have not forgotten the local talent we have."
Locally-based Viriviri and Sione Kolo, who plays Super 15 rugby for the Western Force, are the two uncapped players in the squad with McKee singling out Viriviri for special praise.
The wing, who is on a shortlist of four players for the World Sevens Player of the Year award, has scored 48 tries so far this year, 17-more than the next best 31 by New Zealander Tim Mikkelson.
McKee believes Viriviri, who is due to join Montpellier in France later this year, has a big future ahead of him.
"Viriviri has pleased me as a coach and the world knows his ability on the wing. He has proven himself with the sevens team and I believe he will fit well in the 15s code," McKee said.
Fiji play Tonga on June 14 in their first match in the Pacific Nations Cup which also includes Samoa, Japan, Canada and the United States.
Their World Cup qualifier against the Cook Islands is on June 28.
Akapusi Qera, who plays for the Toulouse side in France, has retained the captaincy.
Fiji squad: 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), Namani Nadolo (Canterbury Crusaders, New Zealand), Vereniki Goneva (Leicester, England), Napolioni Nalaga, (Clermont, France), Asaeli Tikoirotuma (Waikato Chiefs, New Zealand), Waisea Nayacalevu (Stade Francais, France) Sireli Bobo (La Rochelle, France), Metuisela Talebula (Bordeaux, France), Timoci Nagusa (Montepellier, France), Sione Kolo (Western Force, Australia), 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).
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