Wholesale changes for Drua

Fijian Drua head coach Mick Byrne has rung in nine changes to his line-up for the round 12 Super Rugby clash against the Hurricanes this weekend.

It is a totally different side from last week. While there are injury concerns for at least three players, Byrne said he wants all players to have a run so he can assess them.

“Some players have played a lot of minutes this year and there are players we want to have a look at as well,” he said.

“I know people are saying let’s get a settled team and asking when are we going to be like other Super teams.

“Probably when we get into our second year we are going to be like other Super teams where we are settled on a squad. Everyone needs an opportunity to play.”

The Hurricanes are placed seventh on the table, have won five of their 10 games and want another scalp this weekend.

Byrne said he expected a physical encounter.

Caleb Muntz on attack for the Fijian Drua. Picture: Fijian Drua

“We’re preparing for a very physical game this week against a very good Hurricanes team. The boys are really wanting to get out there this week to show Wellington crowd and our fans in New Zealand what they can do,” he said.

In the front row, prop Haereiti Hetet retains his loosehead prop position, joined by Zuriel Togiatama at hooker and Samuela Tawake at tighthead.

Isoa Nasilasila partners Sorovakatini Tuifagalele in the second row. Captain Meli Derenalagi returns to his blindside flanker position this week, with Kitione Salawa at openside and big Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta retaining his number 8 loose forward role.

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The halves pairing this week sees Simione Kuruvoli at halfback and Caleb Muntz in at flyhalf. In the centres, young Jona Mataiciwa comes in at inside centre with Apisalome Vota on the outside.

Kitione Ratu and Selestino Ravutaumada will be on the wings for this match and Kitione Taliga at fullback.

In the reserves, Tevita Ikanivere, Meli Tuni, and Manasa Saulo will back up the front row. Chris Minimbi and Raikabula Momoedonu will provide further impact from the bench along with Leone Nawai, Teti Tela and Onisi Ratave.

1. Haereiti Hetet
2. Zuriel Togiatama
3. Samuela Tawake
4. Isoa Nasilasila
5. Sorovakatini Tuifagalele
6. Meli Derenalagi (c)
7. Kitione Salawa
8. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta
9. Simione Kuruvoli
10. Caleb Muntz
11. Kitione Ratu
12. Jona Mataiciwa
13. Apisalome Vota
14. Selestino Ravutaumada
15. Kitione Taliga
16. Tevita Ikanivere
17. Meli Tuni
18. Manasa Saulo
19. Chris Minimbi
20. Raikabula Momoedonu
21. Leone Nawai
22. Teti Tela
23. Onisi Ratave

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