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Fiji name squad in bid to capture third RWC7s crown

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irbsevens.com and James Mortimer     22 Jun 2013     Getty Images

Fiji's men won the Melrose Cup in both 1997 and 2005 with Waisale Serevi at the helm in Hong Kong, but were knocked out at the quarter-final stage four years ago in Dubai, when Wales went on to take the title.

Having led them to victory at the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia at the start of the current season, Lepani Botia returns to the side after a long injury lay-off and resumes the captaincy from veteran Setefano Cakau, who is a surprise ommission from the squad.

Coach Alifereti Dere explained that Cakau had missed out on selection due to other players 'stepping up'.

Notable recalls are Metuisela Talebula and Waisea Nayacalevu from last season's squad as well as Alipate Raitini, who returns for the first time since helping inspire that victory at the first round of this season's HSBC Sevens World Series, the Gold Coast Sevens.

Dere's men also won the Cup title in Hong Kong and finished the Series in third place, behind New Zealand and South Africa.

In Moscow the Fijians will start their World Cup campaign in Pool E against defending champions Wales, Tonga and Uruguay.

Fiji squad: Ilai Tinai, Watisoni Votu, Vereniki Goneva, Metuisela Talebula, Lepani Botia, Jasa Veremalua, Alipate Raitini, Samisoni Viriviri, Joji Ragamate, Leone Nakarawa, Nemani Nagusa, Waisea Nayacalevu