Cape Town - Fiji's preparations for the Rugby World Cup have taken another step forward after the island nation named a 50-man training squad for their upcoming fixtures against the Maori All Blacks in the Pacific Nations Cup.
The squad, which will join together in camp on July 1, will have almost two weeks together as a group before they host the Maori All Blacks in Suva, with the return fixture in Auckland coming a week after.
The Flying Fijians’ Pacific Nations Cup commitments will then see them take on Japan in Kamaishi in the final week of July, before hosting Canada and Samoa in Suva over the first two weeks of August.
Following the conclusion of those five matches, Fiji coach John McKee will then make his final decision on the 31-man squad he will take to Japan for the 2019 World Cup.
Drawn in Pool D with Australia, Wales, Georgia and Uruguay, Fiji’s chances of making the quarter-finals might seem slim on paper, but they are being talked up as the dark horse of the competition.
Fiji’s 50-man training squad:
Leeroy Atalifo, Mesulame Dolokoto, Sunia Koto, Campese Ma’afu, Sam Matavesi, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Manasa Saulo, Luke Tagi, Kalivati Tawake, Joeli Veitayaki, Tuvere Veremalua
Locks / Loose forwards
Tevita Cavubati, Johnny Dyer, Semi Kunatani, Temo Mayanavanua, Viliame Mata, Sikeli Nabou, Leone Nakarawa, Nemani Nagusa, Jale Railala, Api Ratuniyarawa, Tevita Ratuva, Albert Tuisue, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato
Scrumhalves / Flyhalves
Frank Lomani, Nikola Matawalu, Peni Matawalu, Henri Senioli, Seru Vularika
Lepani Botia, Sevanaia Galala, Josh Matavesi, Alivereti Veitokani, Jale Vatubua, Ben Volavola
Wings / Fullbacks
Vereniki Goneva, Benito Masilevu, Kini Murimurivalu, Filipo Nakosi, Apisai Naqalevu, Waisea Nayacelevu, Patrick Osbourne, Semi Radradra, Eroni Sau, Metuisela Talebula, Joshua Tuisova, Setareki Tuicuvu