Ma’afu, Volavola to face Wallabies as Pocock returns

Ma’afu, Volavola to face Wallabies as Pocock returns

Two of the men who will start for Fiji in their first match at the Rugby World Cup will be lining up against the country of their birth, Australia.

Campese Ma’afu, who was named after legendary Wallabies winger David Campese, and Ben Volavola were born in Sydney, Australia, but there will be no question of split loyalties in the Pool D clash in Sapporo on Saturday.

Ma’afu, whose elder brother Salesi played for Australia at RWC 2011, is one of four players named in the starting XV by coach John McKee on Thursday to be competing in his third World Cup. The others are Leone Nakarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu and Kini Murimurivalu.

Australia have made one change to the side that produced a record-breaking win against New Zealand for their opening Rugby World Cup 2019 game against Fiji. 

The only change from the line-up that won 47-26 against the All Blacks – the highest points tally conceded by their old foes – in Perth last month is David Pocock’s inclusion at flanker.

Rory Arnold is back after a hand injury kept him out of the second Bledisloe Cup game in Auckland, while Nic White and Christian Lealiifano return in the halves after missing the Test against Samoa earlier this month.

The Wallabies XV boasts 600 test caps between them with a further 436 caps among the reserves.

Three of the Wallabies – Isi Naisarani, Marika Koroibete and Samu Kerevi, were born in Fiji. Jordan Petaia, one of three teenagers at RWC 2019 and the second youngest player in the tournament, has been left out of the match-day squad with a hamstring injury.



1. Campese Ma’afu 2. Samuel Matavesi 3. Peni Ravai 4. Tevita Cavubati 5. Leone Nakarawa 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu (capt.) 7. Peceli Yato
8. Viliame Mata 9. Frank Lomani 10. Ben Volavola 11. Semi Radradra 12. Levani Botia 13. Waisea Nayacalevu 14. Josua Tuisova 15. Kini Murimurivalu

16. Tuvere Vugakoto 17. Eroni Mawi 18. Manasa Saulo 19. Tevita Ratuva 20. Mosese Voka 21. Nikola Matawalu 22. Alivereti Veitokani 23. Vereniki Goneva


1.Scott Sio 2.Tolu Latu 3.Allan Alaalatoa 4.Izack Rodda 5.Rory Arnold 6.David Pocock 7.Michael Hooper 8.Isi Naisarani 9.Nicholas White 10.Christian Lealiifano 11.Marika Koroibete 12.Samu Kerevi 13.James O’Connor 14.Reece Hodge 15.Kurtley Beale 

16.Jordan Uelese 17.James Slipper 18.Sekope Kepu 19.Adam Coleman 20.Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 21.Will Genia 22.Matt To’omua 23.Dane Haylett-Petty

-Story derived from World Rugby 


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