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Tongan replaces Naqelevuki

October 30
12:00 2008

Written By : MOIZ MUNIF. Hard hitting Tongan centre Epi Taione has been summoned to join the Pacific Islanders for their Europe tour after Sireli Naqelevuki pulled out of the side.
The utility who can cover the wingers berth and also the second row adds firepower into the Islanders who are chasing their first ever win.
The Harlequins centre will join the side when the team marches into camp in England this weekend.
Samoan prop Kas Lealamanua replaces Tongan Soane Tonga’uiha in the other change to the Islanders outfit.
Pacific Islanders manager Sitiveni Rabuka said Taione was an ideal replacement for Naqelevuki.
He said Lealamanua had also been called into the side.
“Replacing Sireli is Epi Taione of Tonga who is playing for Harlequins. Kas Lealamanua currently plays in France is the second inclusion,” Rabuka said.
With the unavailability of players once again hurting the Islanders, Rabuka believes that is something which Pacific Island rugby association has to take up to the International Rugby Board.
“That is for PIRA to take up, not the team management,” he said.
Fiji faces England on November 8 at Twickenham, France on November 15 at Stade Bonal, Montbeliard and end the tour against Italy on November 22 at Stadio Del Giglio Reggio Emilia.
With the first match scheduled for next week. Rabuka hopes other players will not pull out of the team.
He said the current set of players have declared their availability to feature for the Islanders.
“We hope not (players pull out of tournament), Yes (all the players have confirmed their availability),” Rabuka said.
Sireli Naqelevuki and Soane Tonga’uiha pulled out of the Islanders side citing club commitments.
The Quddus Fielea coached side marches into camp this weekend. Fielea took up the challenge after national coach Ilivasi Tabua stepped down earlier in the year.
Islanders
Kas Lealamanua -Tonga, Kisi Pulu- Tonga, Census Johnston- Samoa ,Justin Va’a- Samoa, Sunia Koto- Fiji, Aleki Lutui- Tonga, Ifereimi Rawaqa- Fiji, Kele Leawere- Fiji, Hale T Pole- Tonga, Daniel Leo -Samoa, Nili Latu -Tonga, Semisi Naevo- Fiji,Viliami Vaki -Tonga, George Stowers- Samoa, Sisa Koyamaibole -Fiji ,Finau Maka- Tonga, Mosese Rauluni- Fiji, Sililo Martens -Tonga, Seremaia Bai -Fiji ,Pierre Hola- Tonga, Vilimoni Delasau- Fiji, Sailosi Tagicakibau- Samoa
Seilala Mapusua- Samoa, Seru Rabeni -Fiji ,Kameli Ratuvou -Fiji , Epi Taione -Tonga, Isireli Bobo- Fiji, Gavin Williams- Samoa.

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