Nicky Little returns for Fiji vs Samoa in World Cup

Veteran flyhalf Nicky Little is back in the starting side and set to make his 70th test appearance for Fiji in its Rugby World Cup match against Pacific island rivals Samoa on Sunday.

The 35-year-old Little, who was on the reserves bench for Fiji’s last match, a 49-3 loss to defending champions South Africa, is appearing in his fourth World Cup. He is his country’s most-capped player, highest points scorer and broke the record for most appearances by a Fijian when he came on as a replacement against the Springboks.

“I feel honored every time I get a chance, even running on last week with 20 minutes to go, it was just great to get out there and have a last hurrah really, because I played my first test against South Africa,” Little said.

Asked how his body was holding up, Little replied: “Not the best, but it’s doing what it should be doing at the moment. My head’s still young and I wish I could still do everything that I was doing 10 years ago.”

Fiji made five changes overall, with half of the forward pack shuffled.

Seko Kalou replaces Wame Lewaravu in the second row and Fiji will line up with a new back row with Netani Edward Talei, Mavu Ravulo and Sisa Koyamaibole replacing the suspended Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera and Sakiusa Matadigo. Qera is the only one of the forwards dropping out to sit on the bench.

Waqaniburotu has appealed his three-match suspension for foul play for a tip tackle on South Africa’s Pat Lambie. The appeal will be heard Saturday in Auckland.

The Fiji-Samoa match is a 60,000-seat sellout at Eden Park in Auckland, where tens of thousands of expatriate Fijians and Samoans live.

Fiji capatain Deacon Manu said the huge crowd should spur both teams on.

“It’s going to be a typical game of Pacific island rugby, really, it’s fantastic it’s a sellout, so that adds extra emphasis on it, Manu said. “Whenever we play the Samoans or the Tongans it’s always a physical match and there’s a lot of big hits. There’s a lot of entertaining rugby, but we’re obviously there to get the result on the scoreboard.”

Fiji coach Samu Domoni said wing Michael Tagicakibau was not considered for selection. Tagicakibau’s brother Sailosi plays for Samoa.

“At the moment we feel that our wingers have been doing well, although there’s room for improvement on what we did last week,” Domoni said.

“As much as you want to pick him as a feel-good thing, we are here with a mission to accomplish so we’ve put our best people on the park.”


Kini Murimurivalu, Vereniki Goneva, Gaby Lovobalavu, Seremaia Bai, Naipolioni Nalaga, Nicky Little, Nemia Kenatale; Sisa Koyamaibole, Mala Ravulo, Netani Edward Talei, Leone Nakarawa, Seko Kalou, Deacon Manu (captain), Sunia Koto, Campese Ma’afu.

Reserves: Talemaitoga Tuapati, Setefano Somoca, Rupeni Nasiga, Akapusi Qera, Vitori Tomu Buatava, Albert James Vulivuli, Waisea Sedre Luveniyali.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.