Rupeni misses out on Fiji RWC spot

Fiji coach Ilivasi Tabua has named a forward-heavy 30-man squad for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup, omitting star winger Rupeni Caucaunibuca.

Rupeni, who is currently serving a three-month ban for testing positive for cannabis during the French top 14 season which includes the first two weeks of the tournament, now faces an uncertain future in the game, with Agen also reportedly preparing to release him from his contract after multiple disciplinary issues.

There are 17 forwards in the squad, who will be coached by Australian Greg Mumm.

“Our forwards will be more competitive,” Mumm said to Fox Sports.

“We can defeat Wales as we have got the size up front and our forwards have got a good height advantage.

“The only thing we need to work on is to improve on the set pieces.

“We are confident that we can upset Wales and we can also match the Wallabies” if Fiji could dominate possession.”

However, the trip to France could also be short-changed, with Fiji’s military government saying there is no more funding available for the team’s trip.

That leaves the budget short of some $217,000.

“As far as I am concerned we can’t entertain any extra requests as we are already in a deficit and things are not well,” interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry told the the Fiji Times.

“If the union wants any additional funds it will have to look at the other sources and the Ministry of Sports could find the extra funds from within but there will be no increase,” he said.

Fiji Rugby World Cup squad:

Forwards: Graham Dewes, Alefoso Yalayalatabua, Sunia Koto, Vereniki Sauturaga, Jone Railomo, Henry Qiodravu, Bill Gadolo, Iferemi Rawaqa, Kele Lewere, Isoa Domolailai, Wame Lewaravu, Jone Qovu, Netani Talei, Semisi Naevo, Sisa Koyamaibole, Aca Ratuva, Akapusi Qera.
Backs: Jone Dunivucu, Mosese Rauluni, Nicky Little, Waisea Luveniyali, Seremaia Bai, Seru Rabeni, Kameli Ratuvou, Maleli Kunavore, Vilimone Delasau, Isoa Naivua, Filimone Bolavucu, Gabiriele Lovobalavu, Norman Ligairi.

 

365 Digital

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