Pacific Nations Cup

Pitau returns to captain Tonga

Piutau was absent from last weekend’s loss against Samoa, with Elvis Taione given the captain’s armband in his absence.

Former Highlander and current Benetton representative Nasi Manu was originally named to captain last week’s side, but was changed late in the week.

Taione will be given a rest this weekend. Instead, Sosefo Sakalia will pack down at hooker with Ma’afu Fia taking Ben Tameifuna’s spot on the tighthead.

The Toutai Kefu coached side will feature most of its experience players such as Cooper Vuna, Steve Mafi, Siale Piutau to name a few.

Manu Samoa focused on bettering performance against USA

The Steve Jackson-coached side is not worried about rankings.

However, the players are focused on improving their game following last weekend’s opener against Tonga.

Jackson says he has confidence in his players after a successful outing in the last match against Tonga.

“We are happy with where we are at the moment and are excited with the direction we are taking. We are already there now and we need to just take the next step,” Jackson said.

Nine changes for USA side to taken on Samoa

James Hilterbrand takes over from Dylan Fawsitt at hooker while lock Greg Peterson will replace the injured Nick Civetta. Civetta suffered a lower limb injury against Canada last week and his availability for the World Cup is now under a cloud of uncertainty.

Former Hurricanes flanker Tony Lamborn replaces Malon Al-Jiboori on the blindside flank.

Samoa pre-World Cup training camp 'one of the best' as Pacific Nations Cup looms

In fact, their current training camp in Auckland ahead of the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup is “one of the best” Manu Samoa have had, according to star prop Logovi’i Mulipola.

The Newcastle Falcons prop is part of head coach Steve Jackson’s 31-man squad for the pre-World Cup tournament, and told One News of how much different their lead-up to the 2019 spectacle has been compared to recent competitions, which have often been dogged by poor resources and lacklustre training conditions.

Fiji draft 9 players as 27-man squad named for Pacific Nations

The match against Japan will serve as a key Rugby World Cup warm up for Fiji who play Uruguay in their second pool game of the tournament in Japan at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium on September 25.

Rivalry and friendship on show as Tonga beat Fiji

The contest between Fiji and Tonga on the pitch at Churchill Park in Lautoka had been fierce in high temperatures – not only were players’ shirts sopping from the heat but so were there shorts – yet once the final whistle blew there was a show of togetherness. The islanders may be huge rugby rivals, but they also share a common bond in faith.

Fiji were crowned Pacific Nations Cup champions the previous week, but it was Tonga who came out on top in this one-off Test, securing their first win over the Fijians since 2011.

Fiji and Tonga to contest unofficial Pacific final

Despite Fiji retaining the Pacific Nations Cup this month in a four team tournament that included Tonga, Samoa and Georgia, the competition only featured two rounds.

The Flying Fijians beat Samoa 22-24 and Georgia 37-15 but did not meet Tonga. The 'Ikale Tahi lost to Georgia 15-16 but overcame Samoa 28-18.

Tonga coach Toutai Kefu said the unofficial Pacific crown was up for for grabs.

"I think whoever wins this game can call themselves the kings of the Pacific," Kefu said.

Manu Samoa ring changes as Tonga, Fiji add firepower

Jordan Lay, Seilala Lam and Viliamu Afatia form a brand new front row combination, with Logovii Mulipola out injured, while Joe Tekori joins captain Chris Vui in the second row.

TJ Ioane starts on the openside flank with Jack Lam shifting to number eight.

Dwayne Polataivao gets the nod at halfback, with Alofa Alofa replacing the injured Rey Lee-Lo at centre, in his first test appearance for three years, while veteran Paul Perez comes onto the right wing.

The 'Ikale Tahi have brought in four new faces with one positional change to the run-on team.

Samoa wary of Tonga

The former Wallaby fullback said the Tongans would come down hard on them, more physical in their approach.

“They will have a few tricks up their sleeves but we got to make sure that we look after ourselves, we take care of the ball and we aid the game on our terms,” he said.

Latham however added that respect for the opposition was vital for any intense competition.


Georgia beat Tonga

Georgia won 16-15.

Georgia scored a converted try and three penalties against Tonga’s two tries (one converted) and a penalty.


Photo Twitter/ Oceania Rugby