Influential loose forward Peceli Yato will return from a head injury for Fiji’s crucial Rugby World Cup Pool D game against Georgia, the team announced on Tuesday.
Yato was concussed in Fiji’s opening game after a high tackle by Australia’s Reece Hodge, who later became the first player to receive a suspension at the tournament.
Fiji, which was leading at the time of Hodge’s try-stopping tackle, lost 39-21 to Australia before suffering an embarrassing upset against Uruguay.
Yato scored a try and made 81 meters in his 26 minutes on the field, gaining more ground than any other player apart from Australia wing Marika Koroibete.
Coach John McKee made 11 changes to the team that slumped 30-27 to Uruguay as Fiji seeks to climb off the bottom of Pool D with a victory in Osaka on Thursday.
Merab Sharikadze will become Georgia’s third captain of the tournament after coach Milton Haig changed 11 of the players who started in the 33-7 win over Uruguay.
Kini Murimurivalu; Josua Tuisova, Waisea Nayacalevu, Lepani Botia, Semi Radradra; Ben Volavola, Frank Lomani; Peceli Yato, Semi Kunatani, Dominiko Waqaniburotu (captain); Leone Nakarawa, TevitaCavubati; Manasa Saulo, Samuel Matavesi, Campese Ma’afu
Replacements: Tuvere Vugakoto, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Viliame Mata, Nikola Matawalu, Jale Vatubua, Josh Matavesi
Soso Matiashvili; Giorgi Kveseladze, David Kacharava, Merab Sharikadze (captain), Alexander Todua; Lasha Khmaladze, Vasil Lobzhanidze; Beka Gorgadze, Mamuka Gorgodze, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili; Konstantine Mikautadze, Giorgi Nemsadze; Beka Gigashvili, Shalva Mamukashvili, Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: Jaba Bregvadze, Guram Gogichashvili, Levan Chilachava, Otari Giorgadze, Beka Saginadze, Gela Aprasidze, Lasha Malaguradze, Miriani Modebadze