Islanders look to bow out with win
November 22, 2008
Tonga's Nili Latu will skipper the Islanders in their last tour outing against Italy © Getty Images
The Pacific Islanders' tour of Europe will reach a climax against Italy in Reggio Emilia on Saturday.
Both sides come into the match off the back of two successive defeats with Italy having lost 30-20 to Australia and 22-14 to Argentina while the Islanders went down 39-13 to England and 42-17 against France.
Italy coach Nick Mallett has made four changes to the side that were beaten by the Pumas in Turin with Mirco Bergamasco moving into the centre with Mario Pratichetti switching back out to the wing.
Elsewhere, scrum-half Pietro Travagli gets the nod ahead of Pablo Canavosio who remains a fitness doubt and as a result is bracketed on the bench alongside Giulio Toniolatti. Tommaso Reato has been handed his first start in the second row where he will replace the injured Carlo Del Fava and will partner Marco Bortolami who will be earning his 70th cap.
The final change to the side, that will once again be captained by No.8 Sergio Parisse, sees Leonardo Ghiraldini starting at hooker in the place of Fabio Ongaro.
Pacific Islanders coach Quddus Fielea has also opted to ring the changes to his side after their mauling at the hands of France in Montbeliard. Captain Mosese Rauluni drops to the bench in one of seven changes for the Stadio Griglio match-up.
Tongan Nili Latu will now lead the side with Sililo Martens slotting in at scrum-half. Elsewhere, fullback Kameli Ratuvou, wing Sailosi Tagicakibau and centre Seilala Mapusua all return to the backline. Centre Epi Taione retains his place after scoring the Pacific Islanders' try against France with Seru Rabeni dropping to the bench.
Winger Napoliani Nalanga is missing after picking up a three-week suspension following a red-card against France. In the pack Justin Va'a lines up at loose-head prop while in the second row Felipe Levi joins Paino Hehea and Viliami Vaki packs down alongside Latu and Sisa Koyamaibole in the back row.
Italy: Andrea Masi, Kaine Robertson, Mirco Bergamasco, Gonzalo Garcia, Matteo Pratichetti, Andrea Marcato, Pietro Travagli, Matias Aguero, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Carlos Nieto, Tommaso Reato, Marco Bortolami, Josh Sole, Mauro Bergamasco, Sergio Parisse (captain)
Replacements: Fabio Ongao, Andrea Lo Cicero, Salvatore Perugini, Alessandro Zanni, Pablo Canavosio or Giulio Toniolatti, Luke McLean, Riccardo Pavan.
Pacific Islanders: Kameli Ratuvou (Fiji), Sailosi Tagicakibau (Samoa), Seilala Mapusua (Samoa), Epi Taione (Tonga), Vilimoni Delasau (Fiji), Seremaia Bai (Fiji), Sililo Martens (Tonga), Justin Va'a (Samoa), Tanielu Fuga (Samoa), Kisi Pulu (Tonga), Filipo Levi (Samoa), Paino Hehea (Tonga), Viliami Vaki (Tonga), Nili Latu (Tonga, captain), Sisa Koyamaibole (Fiji)
Replacements: Sunia Koto (Fiji), Tonga Lea'aetoa (Tonga), Semisi Naevo (Fiji), Hale T Pole (Tonga), Mosese Rauluni (Fiji), Seru Rabeni (Fiji), Gavin Williams (Samoa).
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Christophe Berdos, Hugh Watkins (Wales)
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