Western Force en route to Tonga ahead of Ikale Tahi clash

The Western Force are en route to Tonga to join the Tonga national team for a week of training before a game on Saturday as part of the Ikale Tahi's preparation for the Rugby World cup in Japan next month.

The invitational from the Tonga coach Toutai Kefu comes just a week out from the start of the Western Force's National Rugby Championship season.

Western Force coach Tim Sampson says it will be a very special occasion for his team which also features two Tongans.

"Obviously playing a national team is a huge honour for the club and it is something that we are really looking forward to. It doesn't happen often these days where club plays country," Tim Sampson said.

"They are obviously preparing well for the world cup and we are travelling over there, we leave Monday spend eight days over there and we are going to soften them up for you before they travel to New Zealand."

The Western Force play the Ikale Tahi at Teufaiva Sport Stadium on Saturday at 3pm local time.

The fixture is a rare treat for Ikale Tahi fans who have only seen their team play at home a handful of times in the past decade.

Western Force coach Tim Sampson says it is great to play a small part in the Pacific nations journey to the World Cup.

"There is a big week planned ahead from what we are hearing over there which is, you know they deserve it they are such passionate supporters and they are great to be around within rugby circles," Sampson said.

"They are lovely people and just out and out lovely rugby so it is great for us to be part of it. But yes we are going over there to assist them also as well with their World Cup preparation and I certainly hope they go well."

Next month the Tongan team will fly to New Zealand to play the All Blacks in their final pre-world Cup Test on 7 September in Hamilton.