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By VUNIWAQA BOLA
Sabeto, Nadi rugger Viliame Rakuli will stand in for Wes Naiqama when the Vodafone Fiji XIII face the Italians in Penrith today.
Rakuli will operate from the right centre position alongside Joe Uluibau who will be at the left centre’s position.
Vodafone Fiji Bati coach Rick Stone has made a few changes to his line-up which has also seen six local players given a chance to prove their worth in Australia.
Etuate Tagicakibau comes in at wing alongside Wailotua, Wainibuka native Kitione Rasotale.
On the bench will be Jone Wesele, Semisi Tora, Atunaisa Turagaiviu, Hamilton Hughes, Junior Rika and Netani Suka.
Team manager Mesake Navugona said coach Rick Stone has dropped Naiqama because he knows what he’s capable of.
“Rick wanted to give other players a chance,”Navugona said.
“The players have gelled well and we are expecting a good game against the Italians.”
Meanwhile, Navugona also confirmed that Lasaro Turagadrau was prevented from travelling to Australia because he did not follow proper discharging procedures with the Fiji Police Force.
Police spokesperson Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri said the Force does not have anything against the Fiji National Rugby League but Turagadrau needed to settle his accounts with them.
“When the accounts were updated we found out that he still owed the Force money and he didn’t return all government property that he had.
“That’s why his name was put on the watch list and as soon as he settles his account, he will be allowed to travel again,” he said.