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Preview: France v Fiji

Preview: France v Fiji

Alldritt Rugby

Having bounced back from defeat to Scotland in Round 2 of the Summer Nations Series, France will target a second win of the tournament against Fiji.

Rocked by the news of injury to both Romain Ntamack and Cyril Baille, Les Bleus will be hoping for positive performances from Antoine Hastoy and Reda Wardi, who come into the side in their absence.

Fiji meanwhile are looking to continue from their impressive Pacific Nations Cup triumph and land a major scalp before the 2023 Rugby World Cup gets underway.

Team News 

Ntamack’s ACL tear was the big news of the rugby world this week, as the World Cup was denied one of its potential stars, but it creates an opportunity for Hastoy.

The La Rochelle fly-half is in line for just his fourth cap in Nantes, pairing up with Maxime Lucu in the half-backs as part of an experimental backline.

Antoine Hastoy

Arthur Vincent and Louis Bielle-Biarrey are given a chance to show what they can do ahead of the World Cup squad announcement on Monday while François Cros and Paul Willemse make their first starts of the summer in the pack.

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There is also a potential debut, as Thomas Laclayat looks to make his mark with Les Bleus off the bench.

Semi Radrada takes captaincy for Fiji in the absence of fellow centre Waisea Nayacalevu, as Josua Tuisova lines up on the wing for the first time this summer.

They are two of a number of players who ply their trade in France, including Levani Botia, Luke Tagi and Jiuta Wainiqolo in a very exciting side.

Twenty-three-year-old Caleb Muntz is set for his first start for Fiji in Europe in an intriguing battle against Hastoy.

Ones to Watch 

Yoram Moefana’s attacking exploits are well known and he will be hoping to showcase those off once more but it will be his defence that will be on show at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

Up against one of the most feared wingers in world rugby in the form of Tuisova, he is on trial to guarantee his spot in the squad.

Fabien Galthié and defence coach Sean Edwards will have a keen eye on how he gets on and should he pass the test, his spot in the squad will surely be assured.

Tuisova himself is always one to watch but it is wing partner Vinaya Habosi who catches the eye ahead of his first start for Fiji in 2023.

Three tries in his last two appearances for Racing 92 in the Top 14 show he is in good form but having not played since May, it will be interesting to see if he can hit the ground running from the off.

Stat Attack 

  • This is the first time the sides have met since Fiji’s historic 21-14 win over France in November 2018.
  • Fiji’s last match in Nantes will bring back fond memories – a 38-34 win over Wales to book their place in the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
  • France have now won their last 12 matches at home, dating back to the 27-23 Guinness Six Nations loss to Scotland in March 2021.



15 Melvyn Jaminet, 14 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 13 Arthur Vincent, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Moefana, 10 Antoine Hastoy, 9 Maxime Lucu; 1 Reda Wardi, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 3 Uini Antonio, 4 Florian Verhaeghe, 5 Paul Willemse, 6 Francois Cros, 7 Dylan Cretin, 8 Grégory Alldritt


16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Thomas Laclayat, 19 Bastien Chalureau, 20 Thibaud Flament, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Baptiste Serin, 23 Matthieu Jalibert 


15. Sireli Maqala, 14. Josua Tuisova, 13. Iosefo Masi, 12. Semi Radradra (capt), 11. Vinaya Habosi, 10. Caleb Muntz, 9. Frank Lomani; 1. Eroni Mawi, 2. Tevita Ikanivere, 3. Mesake Doge, 4. Isoa Nasilasila, 5. Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 6. Meli Derenalagi, 7. Levani Botia, 8. Viliame Mata


16. Sam Matavesi, 17. Peni Ravai, 18. Luke Tagi, 19. Temo Mayanavanua, 20. Albert Tuisue, 21. Simione Kuruvoli, 22. Jiuta Wainiqolo, 23. Ilaisa Droasese 


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