24 Jun 2016

Sport: Fiji ring changes for Georgia test

11:38 am on 24 June 2016

Flying Fijians rugby coach John McKee has rung the changes for this afternoon's one-off test against Georgia in Suva.

There's four new faces in the pack, with props Peni Ravai and Taniela Koroi joining skipper Sunia Koto in the front row.

Savenaca Tabakanalagi gets a chance at lock, while Mosese Voka earns his first start at openside flanker.

Nemia Kenatale and Ben Volavola return in the halves, while Adriu Delai, Savenaca Rawaca, and Benito Masilevu are given a chance out wide.

Flying Fijians first five Ben Volavola will start against England in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup..

Ben Volavola is back at first five Photo: AFP

Head coach John McKee said, after defending their Pacific Nations Cup title last week, it's a good opportunity to test their wider squad.

"Players have come off a long season in Europe and played two hard test matches. (This is a chance at) giving some of those a little bit of a break maybe and giving some other players a chance. We need to look at some of our other players and see how they stand up against a team such as Georgia. It's always a bit of a balancing act between making sure we've got a very strong team on the field and also giving our players a fair opportunity."

Fiji rugby coach John McKee.

Fiji rugby coach John McKee. Photo: Facebook / Fiji Rugby

John McKee said Georgia have been one of the big improvers in international rugby over the past few years and it's great to have different teams touring the Pacific Islands.

"A lot of talk about the PNC and World Cup qualification in the first two games but this game is very important to us as well. (Georgia is a ) different type of team, very strong in the set play so that's really going to test us in that area but I think if we can get good quality ball and play our game it's a game that can really suit us."

Fiji beat Tonga 23-18 and Samoa 26-16 in their two June internationals to date, while Georgia drew 19-19 against Samoa and beat Tonga 23-20.

Fiji squad:

Peni Ravai, Sunia Koto (c), Taniela Koroi, Savenaca Tabakanalagi, Tevita Cavubati, Naulia Dawai, Mosese Voka, Eremasi Radrodro, Nemia Kenatale, Ben Volavola, Patrick Osborne, Eroni Vasiteri, Adriu Delai, Savenaca Rawaca, Benito Masilevu.

Bench: Viliame Veikoso, Campese Maáfu, Mesake Doge, Nemia Soqeta, Malakai Ravulo, Henry Seniloli, Seremaia Bai, Vereniki Goneva.