Fiji host Tonga in the Punjas Series at Churchill Park in Lautoka on Saturday - a series but also, naturally, a warm-up for the World Cup in a month's time.
The two teams met at the same ground in the Pacific Nations Cup earlier this year and then the 'Ikale Tahi gave the Flying Fijians a 45-21 hiding. Coach Isitolo Maka will be hoping to repeat the dose. Fiji have a gentle start to the World Cup, playing Namibia, but Tonga have the toughest assignment of all - to play in the opening match against the All Blacks.
Fijian wing Adriu Delai starts in a Test for the first time after earning two caps off the bench. He plays outside Albert Vulivuli, a rising star. Fiji have a powerful backrow in Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Malakai Ravulo and Sisa Koyamaibole. The battle between the two front rows will be interesting and probably crucial.
Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Albert Vulivuli, 12 Seremaia Bai (vice-capt), 11 Adriu Delai, 10 Waisea Luveniyali, 9 Vitori Buatava, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Malakai Ravulo, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Wame Lewaravu, 4 Rupeni Nasiga, 3 Deacon Manu (captain), 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Maafu,
Replacements: 16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Waisea Daveta, 18 Jovilisi Domolailai, 19 Masi Matadigo, 20 Waisale Vatuvoka, 21 Ravai Fatiaki, 22 Iliesa Keresoni
Tonga: 15 Viliame Iongi, 14 William Helu, 13 Sukanaivalu Hufanga, 12 Andrew Mailei, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Samisoni Fisilau, 9 Taniela Moa, 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Sione Vaiomo'unga, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Paino Hehea, 4 Tukulua Lokotui, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Aleki Lutui (captain), 1 Alisona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Ephraim Taukafa, 17 Tonga Lea'aetoa, 18 Sione Timani, 19 Samiu Vahafolau, 20 Tomasi Palu, 21 Siale Piutau, 22 Vungakoto Lilo
Date: Saturday, 13 August 2011
Venue: Churchill Park in Lautoka
Expected weather conditions: An 80% chance of rain front thunderstorms with a high of 29°C, dropping to 21°C.
Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
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