Fiji U-20’s name strong squad for world champs

Halfback Filipe Baselala Photo: Fijian Drua

Halfback Filipe Baselala Photo: Fijian Drua

Fiji U-20 head coach Ifereimi Rawaqa has named eight overseas-based players in his 30-member squad for the World Rugby Championship in South Africa later this month.

Also included in the squad are two Fijian Drua players who have been part of the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific competition.

Crusaders U-20 loosehead prop Mosese McGoon, Perth’s Sitiveni Tamani, Judah Saumaisue of Melbourne, Waisea Tudulu of Canberra, Hamilton-based Sakiusa Kama, Hurricanes duo Isaiah Ravula and Epeli Waqaicece, and Frank Ralogaivau of Brisbane have all been named in the squad.

The inclusion of halfback Filipe Baselala and flanker Motikiai Murray, who are currently part of the Fijian Drua extended squad, plus Fijian Warriors players who took part in the recent World Rugby Pacific Challenge in Samoa in May has boosted the squad.

Murray has been named the captain of the side.

Rawaqa said in a Fiji Rugby Union statement it has 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 U-20 Championship,” he said.

The young Fijian side is grouped with Australia, England, and Ireland in the competition.

It is a tough pool but Rawaqa said the squad has prepared well together.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

The Fiji U-20 team plays Australia on June 25, England on June 30 and Ireland on July 4.