Changes? Manu to mix things up for U.S.A.
Manu Samoa head coach Vaeluagaomatagi Steve Jackson will ring the changes for his side’s second match of the Pacific Nations Cup next weekend.
The team arrived in Fiji on Monday afternoon for their game against the U.S.A. in Fiji on Saturday 3:30pm Samoan time.
Vaeluaga said he will look to use the players that didn’t get a go during the Manu’s 25-17 win over Tonga at Apia Park last weekend.
“You’ll see some changes.
“Yes results matter, don’t get me wrong, but at the back of our mind is Rugby World Cup and the things we are doing in the P.N.C. is really important for how we’re going to be going in our buildup and our preparation for that.
“We need to build depth, so that we feel that the next guy that steps into anyone’s shoes is just as good as the one that walks out of them.”
Eleven of the squad of 34 were not involved in the Tonga game, so one would expect the majority of those players to see significant minutes.
Here is a possible lineup assuming everyone is fit except loosie Tofatuimoana Solia, who suffered a P.C.L. injury during the Pacific Games sevens:
Front row: Howard Sililoto, Elia Elia, James Lay
Locks: Senio Toleafoa, Chris Vui
Loose forwards: Piula Fa’asalele, Jack Lam, Henry Stowers
Halfback: Pele Cowley
First five: AJ Alatimu
Centres: Kieron Fonotia, Henry Taefu
Back three: Belgium Tuatagaloa, Johnny Vaili, JJ Taulagi
Bench: Seilala Lam, Jordan Lay, Alofaaga Sao, Kane Le’aupepe, Alamanda Motuga, Dwayne Polataivao, Ulupano Seuteni, Alapati Leiua
The U.S.A. defeated Canada 47-19 in their Pacific Nations Cup opener, and the Manu will be keen to avenge the 30-29 loss they suffered to the Eagles in Spain in November.
U.S.A first five Will Hooley kicked a last minute penalty to steal the win in that match, which was Vaeluaga’s first ever as Samoa coach.