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Teammates go head-to-head as Samoa take on Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup

Bristol Bears teammates will go head-to-head on the international stage this weekend, as Samoa and Tonga face off in the Pacific Nations Cup at ANZ Stadium, Suva on Saturday.

Both Siale Piutau’s Tonga and Chris Vui’s Samoa head into the game off the back of narrow defeats last time out, with Samoa coach, Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, making nine changes to his starting lineup.

Bristol’s incoming loosehead, Jordan Lay comes into the starting XV, with captain, Chris Vui continuing in the second row. Jack Lam moves from openside to number eight, while Tusi Pisi and Alapati Leiua continue their partnership at ten and 12. James Lay is among the replacements.

“They will have a few tricks up their sleeves, but we got to make sure that we look after ourselves, we take care of the ball and we aid the game on our terms,” said Samoa backs coach, Chris Latham.

Siale Piutau captains the Tonga side from inside centre, as the 'Ikale Tahi bring in four new faces with one positional change to the run-on team.

Siua Halanukonuka joins the front row, with Sitiveni Mafi given the nod at blindside flanker.

Cooper Vuna makes his first appearance of the season on the left wing, after recovering from injury, while Viliami Lolohea earns his first test start on the right, with David Halaifonua shuffling across to full-back.

Tonga
1. Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, 2. Paula Ngauamo, 3. Siua Halanukonuka, 4. Leva Fifita, 5. Joe Tu'ineau, 6. Sitiveni Mafi, 7. Fotu Lokotui, 8. Nasi Manu, 9. Sonatane Takulua, 10. Kurt Morath, 11. Cooper Vuna, 12. Siale Piutau (c) 13. Nafi Tu'itavake, 14. Viliami Lolohea, 15. David Halaifonua. Replacements: 16. Sefo Sakalia, 17. David Feao, 18. Ben Tameifuna, 19. Valentino Mapapalangi, 20. Maama Vaipulu, 21. Suke Tuumotooa, 22. Latiume Fosita, 23. Sione Fifita.

Samoa
1. Jordan Lay 2. Seilala Lam 3. Viliamu Afatia 4. Joe Tekori 5. Chris Vui (c) 6. Piula Faasalele 7. TJ Ioane 8. Jack Lam 9. Dwayne Polataivao 10. Tusi Pisi 11. Sinoti Sinoti 12. Alapati Leiua 13. Alofa Alofa 14. Paul Perez 15. Ah See Tuala Replacements: 16. Elia Elia 17. James Lay 18. Paul Alo-Emile 19. Brandon Nansen 20. Ofisa Treviranus 21. Melani Matavao 22. Rodney Iona 23. Ed Fidow.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
Television match official: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)