Fiji and Uruguay will look for their first win in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Fiji lost to Australia 39-21 on 21 September, while Uruguay debuts at this year’s tournament.
The match will be played at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Iwate Prefecture, Kamaishi City on 25 September. Kickoff is at 14:15 local and 01:15 ET. The match may be viewed in the U.S. on NBC Sports Gold on-demand as part of an RWC subscription package.
The match at Kamaishi is an important one for the city’s recovery from the devastating 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Both sides will pay their respects to the lives lost during the disaster with a minute’s silence before the team’s contest.
Fiji Head Coach John McKee has made 13 changes in the starting XV from Australia. Team captain Dominik Waqaniburotu retains his position at flanker, while Semi Radradra moves from wing to outside center. An additional five starters against the Wallabies are reserves against Uruguay. These include Campese Ma’afu at prop, Tevita Cavubati at lock, Sam Matavesi a hooker, Ben Volavola a flyhalf, and Levani Botia a center. Lee-Roy Atalifo can see his first RWC action as a reserve.
Fiji’s match against Australia had an incident in the 25th minute where Australian wing Reece Hodge was involved in a dangerous tackle of Peceli Yato, causing him to leave the match failing an HIA. Yato is required to miss six days and is unavailable for the match against Uruguay. Hodge will attend a hearing in Tokyo at 15:00 on Wednesday, 25 September (the date at the request of Rugby Australia).
No 8 Viliame Mata will also be rested with a calf injury.
Uruguay Head Coach Esteban Meneses has fielded a strong side against Fiji with Georgia looming on a short turn around. The team will be captained by Juan Manuel Gaminara at flanker with the back-row completed by Santiago Civetta, and Manuel Diana.
Other forwards include locks Ignacio Dotti, who plays for NOLA Gold and Manuel Leindekar, who is in the French Pro D2. The front row includes Mateo Sanguinetti, Germán Kessler, and Diego Arbelo.
In the backs, Santiago Arata and Felipe Berchesi are the halfbacks. Arata played with the Houston SaberCats in 2019. Centers include Andrés Vilaseca, who played with the Austin Herd and Juan Manuel Cat. The back three includes Nicolás Freitas and Rodrigo Silva at wing and Gastón Mieres at fullback. Both Silva and Mieres played in Major League Rugby with the Austin Herd and with the Toronto Arrows, respectively.
Fiji: 1 Eroni Mawi, 2 Mesulame Dolokoto, 3 Manasa Saulo, 4 Tevita Ratuva, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu (capt.), 7 Mosese Voka, 8 Leone Nakarawa, 9 Henry Seniloli, 10 Josh Matavesi, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Jale Vatubua, 13 Semi Radradra, 14 Filipo Nakosi, 15 Alivereti Veitokani 16 Veremalua Vugakoto, 17 Campese Ma’afu, 18 Lee-Roy Atalifo, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Sam Matavesi, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Ben Volavola, 23 Levani Botia
Uruguay: 1 Mateo Sanguinetti, 2 Germán Kessler, 3 Diego Arbelo, 4 Ignacio Dotti, 5 Manuel Leindekar, 6 Juan Manuel Gaminara (capt.), 7 Santiago Civetta, 8 Manuel Diana, 9 Santiago Arata, 10 Felipe Berchesi, 11 Rodrigo Silva, 12 Andrés Vilaseca, 13 Juan Manuel Cat, 14 Nicolás Freitas, 15 Gastón Mieres 16 Guillermo Pujadas, 17 Facundo Gattas, 18 Juan Pedro Rombys, 19 Franco Lamanna, 20 Juan Diego Ormaechea, 21 Agustín Ormaechea, 22 Felipe Etcheverry, 23 Tomás Inciarte