Preview: Romania v Fiji

Date published: November 22 2013

Romania will be aiming to end 2013 unbeaten when they host Fiji in Bucharest on Saturday.

Romania will be aiming to end 2013 unbeaten when they host Fiji in Bucharest on Saturday.

Romania – who beat Canada 21-10 last week and Tonga 19-18 a week earlier – have not lost a Test match in 2013, winning nine out of ten and drawing with Georgia in March.

Fiji lost by just six points to Italy last weekend, despite conceding five yellow cards.

Fiji captain Akapusi Qera is well aware of the challenge his team faces.

“Romanians have strong forwards and a very good kicker. They won two matches against very strong teams. We hope to play a good game on Saturday,” said Qera.

“I want to congratulate the Romanian team for the whole season but especially for the previous two test matches. We will try to raise the standard of rugby that we play,” added Fiji head coach Inoke Male.

Romania coach Lynn Howells welcomed the clash against another top-class opponent.

“It is always useful to have strong teams come play Romania. The victories against Tonga and Canada, although important, are now behind us,” said Howells.

“We are focusing on the future, the test match series end on Saturday with the strongest opponent. The squad trained well and will give their best on the field. This game is a very good opportunity for the team to develop, our objective is to keep all 15 players on the field because the Fijians are able to score from anywhere.”

“We are happy that we have such strong teams coming to play us,” added Romanian captain Mihai Macovei.

“The team has a high morale even though the past three weeks were very challenging from a physical point of view but also mentally. We are doing a lot of technical training because the Fijian team is a very fast one.”

Previous results:
2009 Fiji won 29-18
1991 Romania won 17-15

The teams:

Romania: 15 Catalin Fercu, 14 Ionut Dumitru, 13 Catalin Dascalu, 12 Csaba Gal, 11 Florin Ionita, 10 Florin Vlaicu, 9 Valentin Calafeteanu, 8 Mihai Macovei (c), 7 Viorel Lucaci, 6 Alexandru Mitu, 5 Marius Sirbe, 4 Valentin Poparlan, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Otar Turashvili, 1 Mihaita Lazar.
Replacements: 16 Andrei Radoi, 17 Constantin Pristavita, 18 Horatiu Pungea, 19 Alin Coste, 20 Dorin Lazar, 21 Florin Surugiu, 22 Stephan Hihetah, 23 Cristian Dinis.

Fiji: 15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Nemani Nadolo, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Serenaia Bai, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sakiusa Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera (c), 6 Malakai Ravulo, 5 Apisai Naikatini, 4 Wame Lewaravu, 3 Setefano Somoca, 2 Seremaia Namaralevu, 1 Jereremaia Yanuyanutawa.
Replacements: 16 Peni Ravai, 17 Campese Ma'afu, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Sam Matavesi, 20 Nemani Nagusa, 21 Henry Seniloli, 22 Waisea Luveniyali, 23 Malakai Bakaniceva.

Date: Saturday, November 23
Venue: Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest
Kick-off: 18:30 local (16:30 GMT)
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)