Fiji and Uruguay met each other on one occasion in which they were both awarded caps, a 1999 Test match in Italy which Fiji won 39-24.
This will be Uruguay’s fourth test against Pacific Islands opposition. Stuck in Pool A with Australia, England and Wales – two former champions and a two-time semi-finalist – the Fijians lost to all three higher-ranked teams but acquitted themselves so well that Wales coach Warren Gatland, for one, thought they would have been strong contenders for the quarter-finals if they had been in another pool.
Fiji players acknowledge the crowd after the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Wales and Fiji at … Lemoine put it perfectly when he said: “For a team of our size, it’s a lot of Nadolo in front of us”.
FAMOUS TRY Lemoine’s memories of his famous try have been jogged recently when it was re-run by World Rugby.
“You’re not going to get rich playing rugby in Uruguay”, he laughs, “but I would like to see rugby evolve and more people to take up the sport”.
That was my main driver when I took this job that a few time in the future or when I leave that Fiji can play anyone in the world.
The Vodafone Flying Fijians will fancy their chances of picking up their first win of the Rugby World Cup 2015 in tomorrow’s clash with Uruguay.
Fiji have a 100% scrum success rate at this tournament, Uruguay meanwhile have the lowest success rate in the competition (64%).
“They are a very tricky opponent and we will need to be at our best to beat them”.
But Fiji coach John McKee will not fault his players’ effort and performances.
Fiji caused England more than a few nervous moments in the second half of the tournament’s opening game and the final 35-11 scoreline might have been much tighter but for missed kicks. He was 40 in 1999. We are stringently looked over for any indiscretions in every game. He is one of only four professional players in this squad. However, winger Nemani Nadolo, a star for the Crusaders in Super Rugby, will return from a one-match suspension to line up at Stadium MK.
Uruguay coach Pablo Lemoine has made six changes to the team that lost 65-3 against Australia, with Carlos Arboleya, Alejandro Nieto and Alejo Duran all promoted to the starting line-up after appearing off the bench in that match.
Fiji: K Murimurivalu; A Tikoirotuma, V Goneva, L Botia, N Nadolo; B Volavola, N Kenatale; S Matadigo, A Qera (capt), D Waqaniburotu, L Nakarawa, A Ratuniyarawa, L Atalifo, S Koto, C Ma’afu.
Replacements: 16 German Kessler, 17 Oscar Duran, 18 Mateo Sanguinetti, 19 Mathias Palomeque, 20 Franco Lamanna, 21 Juan De Freitas, 22 Jeronimo Etcheverry, 23 Francisco Bulanti.