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Fiji keep faith in team that upset Australia for Georgia tie

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - England v Fiji - World Cup Warm Up - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - August 26, 2023 Fiji head coach Simon Raiwalui during the warm up before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo REUTERS

LYON, France - Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui has kept faith with the team that beat Australia in their last World Cup outing for Saturday's Pool C clash against Georgia in Bordeaux, making just one change to his starting side.

Selestino Ravutaumada, who started Fiji's dramatic opening loss to Wales, returns on the right wing in place of Jiuta Wainiqolo for a match that could go a long way to securing Fiji a place in the quarter-finals at Australia's expense.

The Flying Fijians need to win their final two pool matches against Georgia and Portugal to be certain of progressing to the knockout rounds for the first time since 2007.

Simione Kuruvoli, who converted five place-kicks from five attempts in the upset of the Wallabies, retains the starting scrumhalf position with Fiji no doubt hoping he will replicate his accuracy from the tee.

In one other change to the bench, Samu Tawake replaces Mesaki Doge as back-up tighthead prop.

While Georgia held Fiji to a 15-15 draw in the last meeting between the sides in 2021, the Pacific islanders were convincing 45-10 winners in the pool stage at the 2019 World Cup.


15-Ilaisa Droasese, 14-Selestino Ravutaumada, 13-Waisea Nayacalevu, 12-Josua Tuisova, 11-Semi Radradra, 10-Teti Tela, 9-Simione Kuruvoli, 8-Viliame Mata, 7-Levani Botia, 6-Lekima Tagitagivalu, 5-Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 4-Isoa Nasilasila, 3-Luke Tagi, 2-Sam Matavesi, 1-Eroni Mawi

Replacements: 16-Tevita Ikanivere, 17-Peni Ravai, 18-Samu Tawake, 19-Temo Mayanavanua, 20-Albert Tuisue, 21-Frank Lomani, 22-Vilimoni Botitu, 23-Vinaya Habosi REUTERS