Rawaqa names squad | Baselala expected to play vital role at rugby championship
8 June, 2023, 11:40 am
Fijian Drua halfback Philip Baselala has been named in the Fiji Under-20 squad to take part in the World Rugby Championship to be held in South Africa later this month.
Head Coach Ifereimi Rawaqa has named an exciting 30-member squad for the tournament. Rawaqa said it had not been an easy selection for him and the coaches.
“We would like to thank all the players who have been with us from the beginning of this campaign and provided stiff competition to those who have been selected to represent the nation in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship.”
The squad consists mostly of High-Performance players who have been in the system and played for the Fijian Drua-20s.
Eight overseas-based players have also made their cut into the travelling squad.
Crusaders Under-20 Loosehead Prop, Mosese McGoon and Perth’s Sitiveni Tamani will guide the front row, Judah Saumaisue of Melbourne is in the locks, Waisea Tudulu has been named on the flanks.
In the backs, Hamilton-based Sakiusa Kama is one of the halfbacks, and Hurricanes duo, Isaiah Ravula and Epeli Waqaicece and Frank Ralogaivau will feature in the midfield.
The inclusion of halfback Philip Baselala and flanker Motikiai Murray who are currently part of the Fijian Drua extended squad for the Super Rugby Pacific are expected to play a vital role in the championship. Motikai Murray has been named the captain of the side.
“The team has prepared really well and are looking forward to the championship. We have had players who were also part of the Fijian Warriors and their experience has really boosted the side,” Rawaqa added.
The Fijian Under-20 side is grouped with Australia, England, and Ireland.
“We have a very tough pool with tier-one nations in it. We need to be very careful in the way we approach our opponents. We are focusing on our first game which is against Australia,” said Rawaqa.
Fijian Under-20 Squad to World Rugby Championship
Loosehead Prop: Mosese McGoon – Crusaders U20; Sitiveni Tamani – Perth; Breyton Legge – HPU. Hookers: Kavaia Tagivetaua – HPU; Josh Kina – HPU; Joeli Nainoca – HPU. Tighthead Props: Marika Toga – Nadi U19; Emosi Natubailagi – HPU; Lasaro Vuluma – HPU. Locks: Mesake Vocevoce – HPU; Nalani May – HPU; Semi Tokitani – HPU; Judah Saumaisue – Melbourne. Flankers: Waisea Tudulu – Canberra; Sakenasa Senivono – HPU; Timoci Nakalevu – HPU; Motikiai Murray – Fijian Drua. Halfbacks: Philip Baselala – Fijian Drua; Sakiusa Kama – Hamilton; Netava Saukuru – Fiji School Boys. Centers: Isaiah Ravula – Hurricanes U20; Epeli Waqaicece – Hurricanes U20; Frank Ralogaivau – Brisbane; Tuitubou Maika – HPU. Wings: Sireli Misiwini – HPU; Bronson Lee – HPU; Pateresio Finau – HPU; Manieta Vonovono – HPU. Fullbacks; Tupeni Waqalala – Nadi U19; Basiyalo Sikeli – HPU.
- Sunday, June 25, 2023 2.30am Fijian Under-20 v Australia
- Friday, June 30, 2023 5am Fijian Under-20 v England
- Tuesday, July 4, 2023 11.30am Fijian Under-20 v Ireland