11:32am Wednesday 14th May 2014
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons back row forward Netani Talei will attempt to secure a World Cup showdown with Wales next month, writes Chris Kirwan.
The 31-year-old has been named in the Fiji squad for their June internationals, which culminate with a clash with the Cook Islands to secure a place at England 2015.
The winners of that game will play in the opening match of the tournament against the hosts at Twickenham and both Wales and Australia at the Millennium Stadium.
Fiji play three Tests before taking on the Cook Islands on June 28, hosting Italy on June 7 before Pacific Nations Cup encounters with Tonga and Samoa the following Saturdays.
Talei missed the end of the Dragons' season after suffering an ankle injury in the Millennium Stadium defeat to the Ospreys and went under the knife last week.
However, he has been named in the squad along with captain and flanker Akapusi Qera of Toulouse, Glasgow trio Niko Matawalu, Jerry Yanuyanutawa and Leone Nakarawa, Clermont winger Napolioni Nalaga and Leicester try machine Vereniki Goneva.
Visa problems prevented Talei from playing for Fiji last autumn but the powerful back row forward was able to feature against the Barbarians at Twickenham, impressively playing the full 80 minutes the day after slogging it out for the Dragons against Munster at Rodney Parade.
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