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International call-up for Warriors Fijian duo
FIJIAN international duo Josh Matavesi, pictured above, and Ravai Fatiaki are set to miss Warriors matches next month after being included in their nation’s 36-man squad for the November tour.
The Flying Fijians will meet England on November 10, Gloucester on November 13, Ireland ‘A’ on November 17 and Georgia on November 24 during the tour.
During that time, Worcester are due to travel to Exeter and host Saracens in the Aviva Premiership, as well as home and away matches with Scarlets and Wasps respectively in the LV= Cup.
Alex Grove, and potentially Nikki Walker, could also be away for a similar period of time with the Scotland set-up, while David Lemi would be involved in the preparations ahead of Samoa’s game with Wales on Friday, November 16 and front row injuries could easily see Matt Mullan drafted into the England squad for their autumn internationals.
Warriors boss Richard Hill said: “Josh and Ravai have been called up to the Fiji squad, so I will have to give it a bit of thought at some stage and try out some different centres.
“We’d like to have the problems of missing players because of international duty because it emphasises how strong our side has become.
“Our aim over the next three seasons is to have those sorts of problems - players will be away on international duty as much as they can be so we’ll have to strengthen the squad. But it’s a good problem because it means we have good players.”
One player who could fill the void at inside-centre is fly-half Joe Carlisle, who has struggled for game-time in his regular position due to the impressive form of Andy Goode at number 10.
Hill added: “I rate Joe very highly, but given the way the team had been playing, I could see at some point we were going to have a good result, so I kept with the same team.
“He’s had to wait in the wings a bit during this block of Premiership games, but we’re only in October and it’s a long old season so he will get his opportunity.
“Joe came through strongly in the middle part of last year in that middle period of seven games. We picked up 16 points during those games and Joe was playing 10 in six of those seven.
“He is a very fine player and will almost certainly start at 10 in the Amlin Challenge Cup games and that will be his chance, along with Paul Hodgson, to really fight for his place.
“It’s been hard for people to break in because the likes of Goodey have been playing well and I don’t want to change people if they’re playing well.”