10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
It's a game that is vitally important to Eddie O'Sullivan and his management team as they go about the job of identifying the players who will eventually make the trip down under next year. And from a morale point of view this match is just as important as the side attempt to build on that success last week and bring their confidence level a notch higher. In all there are nine changes from the side that beat Australia as coach O'Sullivan gives players the opportunity to stake a claim to a RWC place. All over the field opportunity knocks, particularly at full back where Geordan Murphy will be hoping to nail down the number 15 spot but it's in the forwards where the fiercest competition for places will take place.
All that aside however, it's important that the team performance reflects the type of game O'Sullivan wants to perfect and individuals will have to sacrifice personal ambition for the overall good. It's a game Ireland should win but they should be aware that Fiji will be no push-over. They were well beaten last time out by Wales but will have benefited from that outing and will be strengthened by the inclusion of Waisale Serevi and Vili Satala. But Ireland still have loads of quality and although the Fijians will be delighted to see sunny skies and an end to the rain, this should prove a great occasion for record breaking David Humphreys who creates a new Irish record today for appearances at out-half
Ireland. G Murphy; S Horgan, B O'Driscoll capt, K Maggs, J Bishop; D Humphreys, G Easterby; M Horan, F Sheahan, J Hayes; L Cullen. M O'Kelly; A Quinlan, K Dawson, A Foley. Replacements: S Byrne, R Corrigan, M O'Driscoll, E Miller, P Stringer, R O'Gara, G D'Arcy, (Additional player - N Doak).
Fiji. Waisale Serevi (Stade Montois); Fero Lasagavibau (Northland), Vili Satala (Harlequins), Seremaia Bai ( Southland), Norman Ligairi (Southland); Nicky Little ( Saracens), Jacob Rauluni (Rotherham); Richard Nyholt ( Queensland University), Greg Smith (capt) ( Waikato), Bill Cavubati (Masterton); Api Naevo (Kaneka), Simon Raiwalui (Newport); Alivereti Mocelutu (Neath), Alifereti Doviverata (Yamaha), Sisa Koyamaibole (Toyota Skokki). Replacements. Paula Bai (Nadroga), Isaia Rasila ( Nadroga), Ifereimi Rawaqa (Lautoka), Seta Tawake (Suva), Sami Rabaka (Nadi), Joseph Narruhn (Hino) Isaac Mow (Suva)