1 February, 2023, 8:04 am Central - 26°C Rain

Nagusa returns as captain for the Drua vs Crusaders clash
Derenalagi and Tuni to undergo immediate surgery for ACL injury

Nagusa returns as captain for the Drua vs Crusaders clash

Derenalagi and Tuni to undergo immediate surgery for ACL injury

By Antonio Rahiman
Wednesday 18/05/2022
Nemani Nagusa

The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua have made 8 changes to the run-on side for the match against the Crusaders this weekend.

Nemani Nagusa will return to the starting line-up at number 8 as he resumes the captaincy role.

Missing from the line-up will be recent team captain Meli Derenalagi and prop Meli Tuni, both of whom will undergo immediate surgery for ACL injury.

The injuries and required rehabilitation mean both players are out for the remainder of the season, in a significant setback for the Drua.

Coach Mick Byrne says this was a difficult decision to make, however, it has been taken with health of the players first and their longevity as athletes.

Kaliopasi Uluilakepa and Samu Tawake will be the new props this weekend.

Ratu Rotuisolia and Joseva Tamani will make up the new locking combination.

Peni Matawalu starts at halfback while Caleb Muntz will run on at fly-half moving Teti Tela to inside centre.

Selestino Rautaumada has been named to start on the right wing.

Former Reds winger Ilaisa Droasese has been included on the bench.

Other players named to start for the Drua this weekend are Zuriel Togiatama, Mesulame Dolakoto, Kalaveti Ravouvou and Kitione Taliga.

Tevita Ikanivere, Haereiti Hatet, Manasa Saulo, Chris Minimbi, Raikabula Momoedonu, Leone Nawai and Tuidraki Samusamuvodre have also been included on the bench.

The Drua meet the Crusaders at 7.05pm Friday.

In other matches, the Reds will take on Moana Pasifika at 9.45pm Friday, the Chiefs will play the Force at 4.35pm Saturday, the Rebels will face the Hurricanes at 7.05pm Saturday, the Blues will meet the Brumbies at 9.45pm Saturday, and the Waratahs will take on the Highlanders at 3.35pm Sunday.

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