Fiji include soldier Nakarawa in 35-man squad
July 15, 2011
Nakarawa's inclusion has caused the IRB to become involved © Getty Images
Fiji have named their 35-man party to play New Zealand on July 22, which will form the basis for their World Cup squad, and have included soldier Leone Nakarawa in their ranks.
The inclusion of Nakarawa has caused controversy as the New Zealand government has banned Fijians with military or government ties from the country, following sanctions they imposed as a result of Voreqe Bainimarama's military coup of the Pacific island in 2006. New Zealand's foreign minister Murray McCully has said there would be no exceptions for the lock.
"We've been very clear that those to whom the individual sanctions apply will not be given exemptions on this occasion," McCully said. "I was advised that the Fijian management had assured us that all of those whose names were being submitted (to go to New Zealand) would comply with our requirements, and I've had no advice to the contrary yet."
Fiji's team manager Talemo Waqa will work with the IRB and the New Zealand Rugby Union to try and find a solution. "At the moment, we don't really want to think of any contingency plan whilst that is in the mindset," Waqa said. "We believe we have the best chance to show that we want the best players and we want to go in that mindset."
Former Leicester Tigers and Leeds Carnegie centre Seru Rabeni has been dropped from the 35-man squad, which includes 10 members of the side that reached the quarter-finals of the 2007 World Cup. Rabeni was dismissed against Japan on Wednesday for a high-tackle and is joined by prop Graham Dewes in missing out on selection. Fiji will wait on the outcome of the disciplinary hearing for duo Sisa Koyamaibole and Waisea Luveniyali before naming their 24-man squad for the test against New Zealand on Friday July 22.
Campese Ma'afu, Sunia Koto, Deacon Manu (capt), Ifereimi Rawaqa, Sekonaia Kalou, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera, Sisa Koyamaibole, Vitori Buatava, Seremaia Bai, Napolioni Nalaga, Ravai Fatiaki, Albert Vulivuli, Vereniki Goneva, Iliesa Keresoni, Setefano Somoca, Viliame Veikoso, Rupeni Nasiga, Sakiusa Matadigo, Nemia Ranuku, Kini Murimurivalu, Timoci Nagusa, Netani Talei, Waisea Nailago, Adriu Delai, Nicky Little, Leone Nakarawa, Wame Lewaravu, Penijamini Makutu, Gabiriele Lovobalavu, Talemaitoga Tuapati, Ilikena Bolakoro, Malakai Ravulo, Waisea Luveniyali, Waisele Vatuvoka
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