Rakuro returns, while Valetini starts at fly-half

Rakuro returns, while Valetini starts at fly-half

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Thursday 23/03/2023
Photo:(Left)PhotoSport (Right)Fijivillage

Speedster, Taniela Rakuro and Kemu Valetini will be making their first start for the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua when they meet the Highlanders in Round 5 of the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific this weekend.

Eroni Sau and Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta will miss this week’s match due to injury.

Emosi Tuqiri is back in the starting 15 as loosehead prop with Samuela Tawake at tighthead, while Tevita Ikanivere starts at hooker for the fifth consecutive time.

Leone Rotuisolia is also in the starting 15 and will partner with Isoa Nasilasila at locks.

Joseva Tamani returns at blindside flanker after missing out last week, Kitione Salawa retains his role as openside flanker and captain Meli Derenalagi will start at number 8.

Frank Lomani remains at halfback, while Valetini will wear the number 10 jersey for the first time this season.

Kalaveti Ravouvou will team-up with Apisalome Vota in the midfields, while Rakuro and Iosefo Masi start at wing.

Selestino Ravutaumada will start at fullback.

Meanwhile, the Highlanders will have the services of All Black Aaron Smith, Ethan De Groot, Josh Dickson, Pari Pari Parkinson, Mitch Hunt, Thomas Umaga-Jensen and Jonah Lowe.

The Drua will meet the Highlanders at 3.35pm Saturday.

In other matches, the Crusaders will take on the Brumbies at 6.05pm Friday, the Waratahs play the Chiefs at 8.35pm Friday, Moana Pasifika takes on the Hurricanes at 6.05pm Saturday, the Rebels play the Reds at 8.35pm Saturday while the Blues play the Force at 2.35pm Sunday.

Fijian Drua team against Highlanders:

Emosi Tuqiri, Tevita Ikanivere, Samuela Tawake, Isoa Nasilasila, Leone Rotuisolia, Joseva Tamani, Kitione Salawa, Meli Derenalagi (c), Frank Lomani, Kemu Valetini, Taniela Rakuro, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Apisalome Vota, Iosefo Masi, Selestino Ravutaumada


Zuriel Togiatama, Meli Tuni, Jone Koroiduadua, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, Vilive Miramira, Elia Canakaivata, Peni Matawalu, Teti Tela

Highlanders team against the Drua

Ethan de Groot, Leni Apisai, Jermaine Ainsley, Pari Pari Parkinson, Josh Dickson, Sean Withy, Billy Harmon (c), Hugh Renton, Aaron Smith, Mitch Hunt, Jonah Lowe, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Josh Timu, Martin Bogado, Sam Gilbert

Reserves: Jack Taylor, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Saula Ma’u, Will Tucker, James Lentjes, Folau Fakatava, Cam Millar, Jake Te Hiwi.


Fri 9 Jun7:35PMBlues - Waratahs
Sat 10 Jun4:35PMChiefs - Reds
Sat 10 Jun7:05PMFijian Drua - Crusaders
Sat 10 Jun9:35PMBrumbies - Hurricanes
Click here for full fixtures


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