Viliame Mata Rugby World Cup – Fiji profile: Full squad, head coach, key player, prediction and odds

Viliame Mata Rugby World Cup – Fiji profile: Full squad, head coach, key player, prediction and odds

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Ever the entertainers, Fiji head to the 2019 Rugby World Cup with perhaps their most complete side ever.

With explosive runners right through the side, John McKee has some of the most naturally-gifted rugby players on the planet from which to choose. Viliame Mata, Leone Nakarawa and Semi Radradra are among the world’s very best, and Peceli Yato and Josua Tuisova aren’t too shy, either. 

With the halves perhaps too often the crux for Fiji, Ben Volavola has come on hugely as a fly-half, while Frank Lomani’s accuracy at nine is welcome. The set piece should be stronger, too, with Eroni Mawi promising and Campese Ma’afu and Manasa Saulo experienced. Peni Ravai is a prop who has played international sevens, which should give some idea of his skill set, though he’s held his own in the Top 14 for a number of seasons now.

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The second and back rows are full of ball players, and Fiji are flush with options in the outside backs even after the retirement of Nemani Nadolo. 

Wales, Australia and Georgia will provide stern tests in Pool D, but McKee will back his side to beat the latter in what should be a fervent clash of contrasting rugby flavours, and victory over the French (in France, no less) last year has given the Fijians confidence they can mix it with the bigger boys.

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Viliame MataSquad

Forwards:Mesulame Dolokoto, Samuel Matavesi, Ratu Vere Vugakoto, Campese Ma’afu, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Manasa Saulo, Kalivati Tawake, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Tevita Ratuva, Semi Kunatani, Viliame Mata, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato.

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