Bai replaces Little as Fiji face up to might of South Africa

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The Independent Online

Fiji have opted for the experience of Seremaia Bai to replace injured Nicky Little at fly-half for their quarter-final against South Africa tomorrow.

The coach Ilie Tabua announced a team at the Stade Vélodrome yesterday that showed two other personnel changes from the line-up that beat Wales 38-34 last week to secure a place in the last eight.

Little damaged knee ligaments late in that game and is a huge loss for Fiji, already outsiders for tomorrow's match. Bai, who played centre against Wales, switches to fly-half with 22-year-old Waisea Luveniyali on the bench as cover.

Norman Ligairi comes in at full-back with Kameili Ratuvou moving into the centre for Bai but at 13, with Seru Rabeni, awesome against Wales, switching to 12. Sireli Bobo starts on the left wing while Henry Qiodravu comes in at prop.

"We need a better performance than last week [against Wales], we need to play the perfect game. If we can do that, the result will come its way," said Tabua.

Their captain, Mosese Rauluni, said his team had no problems with being written off: "I think we were expecting that," he said. "South Africa are a world-class team, they have a great set-piece, a great backline and real pace out wide. They've got every right to be confident but our boys have got confidence in themselves. We could take a lot of confidence out of the Welsh game but there's areas we need to fix up – the scrum being the big thing."

The injured South African tighthead prop CJ van der Linde will be given every chance to prove his fitness for tomorrow's game. Van der Linde suffered a knee injury in training on Tuesday but has been named in the starting XV for the match, with a final decision to be made in the morning.

As a result, head coach Jake White has named a 23-man squad with both Guthro Steenkamp and Jannie du Plessis included among the provisional replacements as cover.

Fiji: N Ligairi; V Delasau, K Ratuvou, S Rabeni, Sireli Bobo; S Bai, M Rauluni (captain); G Dewes, S Koto, H Qiodravu, K Leawere, I Rawaqa, S Naevo, A Qera, S Koyamaibole. Replacements: B Gadolo, J Railomo, A Ratuva, W Lewaravu, J Daunivucu, W Luveniyali, G Lovobalav

South Africa: P Montgomery; JP Pietersen, J Fourie, F Steyn, B Habana; B James, F du Preez; O du Randt, J Smit (capt), CJ van der Linde, B Botha, V Matfield, S Burger, J Smith, D Roussow. Replacements: G Botha, G Steenkamp, J du Plessis, J Muller, W van Heerden, R Pienaar, W Oliver, A Pretorius.

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