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Former Gloucester flanker Akapusi Qera to captain Fiji against England

Published 17/11/2016

Akapusi Qera captains Fiji against England on Saturday
Akapusi Qera captains Fiji against England on Saturday

Former Gloucester flanker Akapusi Qera will lead a Fiji side packed with European-based players when they face England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Pacific Islanders have opted for a blend of physicality and pace as they look to upset Eddie Jones' Grand Slam champions, who enter the seventh meeting between the rivals as overwhelming 1/150 favourites.

Qera of Montpellier skippers the side from number eight and is joined in the back row by Clermont's Peceli Yato and Brive's Dominiko Waqaniburotu.

Racing 92's brilliant lock Leone Nakarawa partners Agen's Api Ratuniyawara in the second row while Campese Ma'afu, Sunia Koto and Manasa Saulo form the front row.

Exeter's new signing Niko Matawalu is on the bench so Seru Vularika gets the number nine jersey with Josh Matavesi at fly-half.

The giant Nemani Nadolo takes one wing spot with Benito Masilevu on the other while Albert Vulivuli and Asaeli Tikoirotuma are partnered in the centres. Bordeaux-Begles' Metui Talebula is at full-back.

"This team in the best that can represent Fiji this week and we see some of our most experienced players returning for this Test," head coach John McKee said.

"This team gives us the balance of being strong on the set-play at scrum and line-out, as well as exiting our defensive zone, along with having the mobility to play our attacking game."

Fiji: M Talebula (Bordeaux-Begles); B Masilevu (Brive), A Tikoirotuma (London Irish), A Vulivuli (Racing 92), N Nadolo (Montpellier); J Matavesi (Ospreys), S Vularika (Suva); C Ma'afu (Northampton Saints), S Koto (Macon), M Saulo (Toulon), A Ratuniyawara (Agen), L Nakarawa (Racing 92), D Waqaniburotu (Brive), P Yato (Clermont Auvergne), A Qera (Montpellier).

Replacements: T Talemaitoga (Provence), P Ravai (Southland), L Atalifo (Canterbury), N Soqeta (Biarritz), N Dawai (Otago), E Radrodro (Suva), N Matawalu (Exeter Chiefs), K Murimurivalu (La Rochelle).

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