May 11, 2018 / 7:56 AM / 6 months ago

Rugby - Redrada called into Fiji squad for Pacific Nations Cup

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Rampaging back Semi Radrara looks set to make his test debut for Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup next month after being named in the squad for the June internationals by coach John McKee on Friday.

The 25-year-old enjoyed a highly successful career as a winger in the National Rugby League and played one test for Australia before making the switch to union with French club Toulon at the end of last year.

His inclusion in the Fiji squad for June tests against Tonga, Samoa and Georgia puts him firmly in the frame for next year’s World Cup in Japan.

“With less than 18 months to the (World Cup), this June test series is very challenging and important for us in both terms of Fiji’s standing as the top tier two nation and with an eye towards our preparation for (Japan),” McKee said in a news release.

“As good as some of our match performance was in 2017, we need to be better in 2018. Our performance levels must build towards 2019 to put us in the best position to have a successful World Cup.

“It will be very important for overseas based players to arrive at camp ready to hit the ground running.”

Redrada is committed to staying in union with Bordeaux for the next two years and is listed in the squad as a centre, a position he has filled for Toulon this season.

Fiji, who beat Italy and Scotland in last year’s June test window, will play Australia, Wales, Georgia and Uruguay in Pool D next year as they bid to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup for the fourth time.

Squad:

Forwards - Campese Maáfu, Peni Ravai, Eroni Mawi, Tuapati Talemaitoga, Ratunaisa Navuma, Tuvere Veremalua, Ropate Rinakama, Kalivati Tawake, Manasa Saulo, Sikeli Nabou, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Albert Tuisue, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Viliame Mata, Mosese Voka, Nemani Nagusa, Akapusi Qera.

Backs - Henry Seniloli, Frank Lomani, Serupepeli Vularika, Ben Volavola, Jale Vatubua, Sevanaia Galala, Semi Radrara, Vereniki Goneva, Josua Tuisova, Nemani Nadolo, Timoci Nagusa, Kini Murimurivalu.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by John O'Brien

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