Four debutants named in Manu Samoa starting team against Tonga

Four debutants have been named in the Manu Samoa starting XV for Saturday's Pacific Nations Cup opener against Tonga.

Manu Samoa Head Coach, Vaeluagaomatagi Steve Jackson is handing starting debuts to the Bordeaux club pair number eight, Afasetiti Amosa, and first five, Ulupano Seuteni, while Manu Sevens players past and present Belgium Tuatagaloa and Johnny Vaili will start on the wing.

There will be plenty of experience standing between Seuteni and the wingers, including veteran midfield duo Rey Lee-Lo and Alapati Leiua, while Amosa joins former captain Tupa'i Chris Vui and TJ Ioane in the loose forwards.

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A further three players are in line to earn their first test caps off the bench, in the 23-man squad revealed on Thursday: prop Alofaaga Sao, lock Senio Toleafoa and loose forward Alamanda Motuga

Tonga's starting XV includes three players making test debuts, one of whom is lock Sam Lousi, who last played for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and has just signed for Welsh club Scarlets.

The 27-year-old suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in the Super Rugby pre-season, which led the Hurricanes to bring in his opposite, Manu Samoa lock Kane Le'aupepe as injury cover.

The Ikale Tahi side also features Leon Fukofuka, who captained Kagifa Samoa in their first season of Global Rapid Rugby.

Kickoff is at Apia Park at 3 pm on Saturday. 

Manu Samoa:

  1. Logovi’i Mulipola
  2. Motu Matu’u (captain)
  3. Paul Alo-Emile
  4. Teofilo Paulo
  5. Kane Leaupepe
  6. Chris Vui
  7. TJ Ioane
  8. Afasetiti Amosa (debut)
  9. Auvasa Faleali’i
  10. Ulapano Seuteni (debut)
  11. Belgium Tuatagaloa (debut)
  12. Reynold Lee-Lo
  13. Alapati Leiua
  14. Johnny Vaili (debut)
  15. Ahsee Tuala
  16. Ray Niuia
  17. Jordan Lay
  18. Alofaaga Sao (debut)
  19. Vaito’asa Senio Toleafoa (debut)
  20. Alamanda Motuga (debut)
  21. Dwayne Polataivao
  22. AJ Alatimu
  23. Jamie-Jerry Taulagi


Ikale Tahi:

  1. Paea Fa’anunu
  2. Elvis Taione
  3. Ben Tameifuna
  4. Leva Fifita
  5. Sam Lousi (debut)
  6. Onehunga Havili
  7. Maama Vaipulu
  8. Nasi Manu (captain)
  9. Samisoni Fisilau
  10. James Faiva (debut)
  11. Viliami Lolohea
  12. Cooper Vuna
  13. Malietoa Hingano (debut)
  14. Tevita Halaifonua
  15. Nafi Tu’itavake
  16. Sefo Sakalia
  17. Toma Taufa (debut)
  18. Ma’afu Fia
  19. Zane Kapeli
  20. Fotu Lokotui
  21. Sione Vailanu
  22. Leon Fukofuka
  23. Otumaka Mausia (debut)
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