26 Jun 2007

Fiji's Rugby World Cup squad likley to miss two key players

11:42 am on 26 June 2007

Winger Rupeni Caucau is highly unlikely to be part of the Fijian squad at the Rugby World Cup in France.

Caucau is serving a three month ban after testing positive for cannabis while playing for his French club, Agen, in March.

The ban ends on 13 September, which is a day after Fiji plays Japan in the first match at the world cup.

Fiji coach, Ilivasi Tabua, says Caucau's suspension also stops him from playing at the final Fiji trials in three weeks time and he can't be part of any preparation at all.

Tabua also got bad news from Wales based prop - Deacon Manu, who ruled himself out from playing for Fiji citing family reasons.

Manu's wife is expecting a baby and he doesn't want to leave her alone in Wales to be involved in five weeks of preparations in Fiji.

Fiji's High Performance Unit manager - Peter Murphy says he has spoken with Manu and has asked him to bring his family to Fiji.

He hopes Manu will re-consider his decision and will opt to play for Fiji.

He will inform the FRU of his decision next week.

The final Fiji rugby trials will on Thursday 12 July in Suva after which the selectors will pick a 30-man squad.