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Kefu Tipped To Keep Powerful Line-Up

Tongans to field Super Rugby, Europe players The Vodafone Flying Fijians will be facing a powerful and experienced Tongan side in their 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers clash at Teufaiva
06 Jul 2017 11:00
Kefu Tipped To Keep Powerful Line-Up
Tonga captain Siale Piutau.

Tongans to field Super Rugby, Europe players

The Vodafone Flying Fijians will be facing a powerful and experienced Tongan side in their 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers clash at Teufaiva Stadium in Nuku’alofa on Saturday.

Tonga head coach Toutai Kefu is expected to keep the same line-up that beat Samoa 30-26 last Saturday.

As expected former Australian sevens rep ‘Atieli Pakalani is to start at fullback while Bristol’s Siale Piutau is going to lead the side from his second five-eighth position.

Chiefs prop  Siegfried Fisi’ihoi makes a tackle against the British and Irish Lions.

Chiefs prop Siegfried Fisi’ihoi makes a tackle against the British and Irish Lions.

Kefu confirmed Piutau’s appointment saying under his leadership they have stayed unbeaten during last year’s November tour. The former Wallaby No.8 is expected keep Cooper Vuna on the wing with Nafi Tu’itavake at centre.

The Tongan front row have wealth of Super Rugby experience. Leading the charge is Waikato props Latu Talakai and Siegfried Fisi’ihoi- a Chiefs Super Rugby player- who will add some beef to the front row options and are joined by provincial teammate Leva Fifita in earning their first call-up to the Tongan squad.

Former Chiefs and now Racing 92 prop Ben Tameifuna.

Former Chiefs and now Racing 92 prop Ben Tameifuna.

The other new cap is Northland loose forward Michael Faleafa, while Racing 92 prop Ben Tameifuna is set to play his second test. Tameifuna plays alongside Flying Fijian lock Leone Nakarawa and Albert Vulivuli in the Top 14 competition in France. Former captain Nili Latu is back in the team despite only recently returning from a long injury layoff.

Copper Vuna now plays for Worcester Warriors.

Copper Vuna now plays for Worcester Warriors.

Likely line-up: Tonga- 1. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi,2.  Paula Ngauamo, 3. Siua Halanukonuka, 4. Leva Fifita, 5. Sitiveni Mafi, 6. Dan Faleafa, 7. Nili Latu, 8. Valentino Mapapalangi, 9. Sonatane Takulua, 10. Latiume Fosita, 11. Cooper Vuna, 12. Siale Piutau (c), 13. Nafi Tu’itavake, 14. David Halaifonua, 15.’Atieli Pakalani. Reserves: 16. Suliasi Taufalele, 17. Latu Talakai, 18. Ben Tameifuna, 19. Jack Ram, 20 .Mike Faleafa, 21. Leon Fukofuka, 22. Kali Hala, 23. Tevita Taufui.

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