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Fiji name two Tigers for autumn cup

Leicester Tigers backs Nemani Nadolo and Kini Murimurivalu are both included in the Fiji team for their Autumn Nations Cup opener against France.

Head coach Vern Cotter has named a matchday squad for Sunday including nine uncapped players alongside the experience of Nadolo and Murimurivalu who run out in national colours for the first time since joining Tigers this summer.

Nadolo is named on the wing for his 30th Test appearance and Murimurivalu is at full-back in his 31st game for the Flying Fijians.

Cotter said: “We have a very established backline who have played together for many tests and I expect them to be lethal if given quality possession.

“France is a very good team to play against and for us to test our set-piece, scrum, lineouts and defence. The players are aware about this massive challenge and they are getting ready for it.”

The debutants are back-row trio Johnny Dyer, Mesulame Kunavula and Kitione Kamikamica, with Tevita Ikanivere, Haereiti Hatet, Samuela Tawake, Temo Manayavanua, Manueli Ratuniyarawa and Simione Kuruvoli all named on the bench.

Fiji have confirmed that a player who returned a positive test for Covid-19 is now isolated, and chief executive John O’Connor said the group are awaiting results of final testing ahead of the game.

Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 12 Levani Botia (c), 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Frank Lomani; 1 Peni Ravai, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Mesake Doge, 4 Tevita Ratuva, 5 Albert Tuisue, 6 Mesulame Kunavula, 7 Kitione Kamikamica, 8 Johnny Dyer. Replacements: 16 Tevita Ikanivere, 17 Haereiti Hetet, 18 Samuela Tawake, 19 Temo Mayanavanua, 20 Manueli Ratuniyarawa, 21 Simione Kuruvoli, 22 Serupepeli Vularika, 23 Setareki Tuicuvu