The Latest: Tongans Morath, Tuitavake out of Rugby World Cup

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 5 of the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Tonga flyhalf Kurt Morath and center Nafi Tuitavake have been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup after sustaining injuries in the 35-3 opening loss to England on Sunday.

Tonga assistant coach Pita Alatini told a news conference Tuesday that Morath was still in a hospital in Sapporo and may need surgery after hurting his throat while trying to tackle England center Manu Tuilagi in the second half. Tuitavake broke his left arm on the last play of the game.

"It is obviously desperately disappointing for Kurt and Nafi — they have worked so hard to be here — but it means there are opportunities for others now," Alatini said.

James Faiva is likely to start at flyhalf against Argentina on Saturday as a replacement for Morath, who is Tonga's all-time leading scorer.

"It's disappointing to lose Kurt the way we have, but we've got to keep moving forward as a team and I want to take the chance that has been given to me," Faiva said. "It's a great opportunity to show my talents."

Alatini said Latiume Fositaa was being drafted into the broader squad to replace Morath, and Fetuli Paea was a likely replacement for Tuitavake.

ADVERTISEMENT

___

12 p.m.

Russia is returning for its second game of the Rugby World Cup after just four days off. Samoa will be fresh and ready to go at Kumagaya.

Given only the short break, Russia surprisingly retained the same 23-man squad which lost 30-10 to host Japan in the tournament opener last Friday.

Kirill Golosnitskiy scored the first try of the tournament, but the opener went mostly Japan's way after that.

The Samoans will be without captain Jack Lam on Tuesday but should have too much experience to be too troubled by Russia.

At 37 years, 268 days, flyhalf Tusi Pisi is set to surpass late captain Peter Fatialofa as the oldest Samoan to play at a Rugby World Cup.

It's the only game on Day 5 of the tournament. Fiji will play its second game when it takes on Uruguay on Wednesday.

___

More AP Rugby World Cup: https://www.apnews.com/RugbyWorldCup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

ADVERTISEMENT
Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?