Tonga name six debutants to face Cook Islands

Bay of Plenty wider training squad member Semisi Paea starts at lock while former Tonga Under 20s player Kelemete Finau will debut on the blindside flank.

Grammar TEC back-rower Nela Matakaiongo, former New Zealand Under 20s number eight Tovo Faleafa, Waikato Development centre Paula Mahe and Tonga Sevens co-captain John Tapueluelu are also poised to get their first taste of test match rugby off the bench.

Two debutants to start for Tonga vs Georgia

The Bay of Plenty loose forward and Taranaki utility back came off the bench against the French Barbarians two weeks ago but will start for the 'Ikale Tahi in Tbilisi, in place of Sione Vailanu, who drops to the reserves and captain Siale Piutau, who has returned to his club side Bristol.

In the only other change to the starting fifteen thumped 74-24 by Wales, Sefo Sakalia replaces Paula Ngauamo at hooker.

Hooker Sione Anga'aelangi is set to make his first test appearance since 2016 off the bench.