Islanders opt to ring the changes
November 12, 2008
Pacific Islanders coach Quddus Fielea has chosen to rotate his starting line-up for this weekend's clash with France in Sochaux.
The tourists have made a total of ten changes to the side that started against England for their first-ever clash with Les Bleus at Stade Auguste Bonal.
Samoa's Gavin Williams has been named at fullback in the place of Kameil Ratuvou who drops to the bench while Fiji's Napolioni Nalaga comes in on the wing instead of Sailosi Tagicakibau. Tongan Epi Taione, a replacement at Twickenham last weekend, is preferred to Seilala Mapusua and starts in the centre alongside Seru Rabeni.
In the only other change in the backs, Fiji's Seremaia Bai takes the No.10 shirt with Pierre Hola dropping out of the match day squad.
In the front row Samoa's Kas Lealamanua props up the scrum instead of Justin Va'a and his countryman Tani Fuga takes over the hooking duties from Aleki Lutui. A new-look front row is completed by Tongan tighthead Kisi Pulu who comes in for Cencus Johnstone who is named amongst the replacements.
Tonga's Paino Hehea partners Fijian Kele Leawere in the second row while Tonga's Hale T Pole will pack down at blindisde and Fijian Sisa Koyamaibole at No.8. Flanker Viliami Vaki is set for his tour bow after being named on the bench.
Pacific Islanders: Gavin Williams (Samoa), Napolioni Nalaga (Fiji), Seru Rabeni (Fiji), Epi Taione (Tonga), Vilimoni Delasau (Fiji), Seremaia Bai (Fiji), Mosese Rauluni (Fiji), Kas Lealamanua (Samoa), Tanielu Fuga (Samoa), Kisi Pulu (Tonga), Paino Hehea (Tonga), Kele Leawere (Fiji), Hale T Pole (Tonga), Nili Latu (Tonga), Sisa Koyamaibole (Fiji)
Replacements: Sunia Koto (Fiji), Census Johnston (Samoa), Filipo Levi (Samoa), Viliami Vaki (Tonga), Sililo Martens (Tonga), Kameli Ratuvou (Fiji), Seilala Mapusua (Samoa)
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action