Fiji v Uruguay preview: Flying Fijians look to finish with a flourish
- John McKee makes four changes to Fiji team that battled bravely against Wales last week
- Nemani Nadolo returns from suspension to start on the left wing for Pacific Islanders
- Uruguay is the only nation at this year’s Rugby World Cup not to score a try
- The South Americans have made six changes to the lineup that lost to Australia
Following three grueling contests, Fiji will fancy their chances of recording their first win of the 2015 Rugby World Cup when they clash with Uruguay in Milton Keynes on Tuesday night.
While both sides have lost all their games so far the South Americans are the only nation in the tournament who are yet to score a try, however, they have played one game less than their opponents with England still to play at the weekend.
The South Americans only previous encounter with a Pacific Island side at a RWC ended in defeat when they were overcome 60-12 by Samoa in 2003.
The two nations have only met once previously in 1999 in L’Aquila, Italy where Fiji won 39-24.
John McKee, Fiji’s head coach, has made four alterations to the team that lost bravely in last Thursday’s closely contested match against Wales in Cardiff.
“We came here with high ambitions and wanted to get one or two scalps,” said McKee. “But we will need to be at our best to beat Uruguay. The players are very motivated to finish the tournament on a high note.”
The head coach welcomes back his star man Nemani Nadolo, who returns from suspension to start on the left wing, with Asaeli Tikoirotuma moving to the right while Timoci Nagusa drops out of the match-day squad.
Kini Murimurivalu comes in at 15 for Metuisela Talebula while Fiji will be without Manasa Saulo after the prop received a 10-week ban for intentionally stamping on Wales lock Luke Charteris.
Uruguay have made six changes to the lineup which lost to Australia 65-3 last week, making four of those changes in the forwards.
Pablo Lemoine, the Uruguay head coach commented that: “It is our best opportunity [to win] and, without disrespect to Fiji, it is the only tier two team we will play,”
The flying Fijians put in resilient displays against Australia, England and Wales so should have far too much quality to be troubled by the Uruguayans. Their quick free flowing passing game should allow them to unravel the South Americans defence enough in order to secure a bonus-point victory.
Fiji by 30
Players to watch
The Flying Fijians star winger returns to the fold on the left against Uruguay after serving a one-week ban. The man mountain, who stands 6ft 5in tall, scored in their opening match against England before causing Australia lots of problems with his strength and superb ball carrying skills. Expect to see him right in the thick of it.
Their 24-year-old scrum-half, who is the son of Los Teros icon Diego Ormaechea, has impressed so far during his first Rugby World Cup. Quick hands at the breakdown combined with the willingness to put big tackles in when on the backfoot makes him one of Uruguay’s standout talents.
Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Lepani Botia, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sakiusa Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera (c), 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 3 Leroy Atalifo, 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Ma’afu.
Replacements: 16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Taniela Koroi, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Henry Seniloli, 22 Josh Matavesi, 23 Timoci Nagusa,
Uruguay: 15 Gaston Mieres, 14 Santiago Gibernau, 13 Joaquin Prada, 12 Andres Vilaseca, 11 Rodrigo Silva, 10 Alejo Duran, 9 Agustin Ormaechea, 8 Alejandro Nieto, 7 Matias Beer, 6 Juan Manuel Gaminara, 5 Jorge Zerbino, 4 Santiago Vilaseca (c), 3 Mario Sagario, 2 Carlos Arboleya, 1 Alejo Corral.
Replacements: 16 German Kessler, 17 Oscar Duran, 18 Mateo Sanguinetti, 19 Mathias Palomeque, 20 Franco Lamanna, 21 Juan De Freitas, 22 Jeronimo Etcheverry, 23 Francisco Bulanti.
Date: Tuesday, October 6
Venue: Stadium:MK, Milton Keynes
Kick-off: 20:00 local (19:00 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle (RFU)