Pre-RWC test matches



  • In this blog post, you can find (almost) all test matches that will be played before the 2019 Rugby World Cup by nations competing at that tournament.

    For general squad lists and squad discussions; injury updates etc. Not a match thread.

    Blog post:



  • FLYING FIJIANS JULY SQUAD:

    Selected for NZ Maori & Pacific Nations Cup.

    Props:
    Leeroy Atilifo, Campese Ma’afu, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Manasa Saulo, Luke Tagi, Kalivati Tawake, Joeli Veitayaki

    Hookers:
    Mesulame Dolokoto, Samuel Matavesi, Tuvere Vugakoto

    Locks:
    Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa, Tevita Ratuva, Albert Tuisue

    Backrow:
    Johnny Dyer, Semi Kunatani, Viliame Mata, Nemani Nagusa, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato

    Halfbacks:
    Frank Lomani, Nikola Matawalu, Henri Senioli, Serupepeli Vularika

    Flyhalves:
    Ben Volavola, Alivereti Veitokani

    Centres:
    Levani Botia, Sevanaia Galala, Semi Radradra, Jale Vatubua,

    Utility Back
    Josh Matavesi

    Wingers:
    Vereniki Goneva, Filipo Nakosi, Waisea Nayacalevu, Patrick Osbourne, Eroni Sau, Josua Tuisova

    Fullbacks:
    Kini Murimurivalu, Seta Tuicuvu



  • Samoa Rugby Union announces 34 man training squad for Pacific Nations Cup

    FORWARDS
    HOOKERS
    1 Seilala LAM – Perpignan (FRANCE), Gataivai/Taga/Malie
    2 Raymond NIUIA- Otago Highlanders (NZ), Saipipi/Saanapu
    3 Elia ELIA – Harlequins (UK), Salelesi/Afega
    4 Motu MATUU – London Irish (UK), Fasitoo Uta/Falelatai/Manono

    FRONT ROW
    5 James LAY – Bristol Bears (UK), Safotu/Sasina
    6 Jordan LAY – Bristol Bears (UK), Safotu/Sasina
    7 Hisa SASAGI – Dragons Asia Pacific, Vaisala/Malie
    8 Paul ALO-EMILE- Stade Francaise (FRANCE), Leulumoega Tuai/Fasitoo Tai/Falefa
    9 Logovii MULIPOLA – Newcastle Falcons (UK), Manono/Palauli
    10 Alofaaga SAO- Savaii Vikings (SAMOA), Saasaai/Saipipi

    LOCK
    11 Kane LEAUPEPE – Hurricanes (NZ), Faleasiu/Tanugamanono
    12 Chris VUI – Bristols Bears (UK), Foaluga/Lano/Saasaai
    13 Senio TOLEAFOA – Nevers (FRANCE), Fasitoo Tai/Nofoalii/Vaipuna
    14 Teofilo PAULO – London Irish (UK), Solosolo/Salea’aumua/Faleapuna/Safune

    LOOSE FORWARDS
    15 Jack LAM – Bristols Bears (UK), Gataivai/Taga/Malie
    16 Faifili LEVAVE- La Rochelle (FRANCE), Foaluga/Lano/Saasaai
    17 Henry STOWERS – Western Force (AUST), Tafagamanu/Salea’aumua
    18 Piula FAASALELE- Toulouse (FRANCE), Magiagi/Nofoalii
    19 Afaesetiti AMOSA – Borderaux (FRANCE), Fasitoo Tai/Vailele
    20 Tofatuimoana SOLIA- Samoa 7’s/Tornadoes, Malaemalu/Satalo

    BACKS
    HALFBACKS
    21 Dwayne POLATAIVAO – Doncaster (UK), Lefagaoalii/Nofoalii
    22 Pelefofoga COWLEY- Ponsonby (NZ), Vaigaga
    23 Auvasa FALEALII – Nevers (FRANCE), Letogo/Gagaifo Lefaga

    FIRST FIVE
    24 AJ ALATIMU – Western Force (AUST), Salei’a, Avao/Salailua/Afega
    25 Ulupano SEUTENI – Borderaux (FRANCE), Tiavea/Samusu, Aleipata/Malie

    MIDFIELD
    26 Kieron FONOTIA – Scarlets (WALES), Apia
    27 Henry TAEFU – Western Force (AUST), Siufaga, Falelatai/Samatau
    28 Alapati LEIUA – Bristols Bears (UK), Malie/Patamea
    29 Reynold LEE-LO – Cardiff Blues (WALES), Vailima/Magiagi/Satoalepai

    OUTSIDE BACKS
    30Ah See TUALA – Northampton (UK), Gataivai/Sili/Moamoa/Leauvaa
    31 JJ TAULAGI – Agen (FRANCE), Faleapuna/Saleimoa/Matatufu
    32 Johnny VAILI – Samoa 7’s/Aana Cheifs, Moataa/Satapuala
    33 Belgium TUATAGALOA – Valence Romans (FRANCE), Samatau/Falelatai/Sapapalii

    Non-travelling reserves
    34 Patrick FAAPALE – Vaiala/Vaimauga Eels
    35 Afa AIONO- Marist/Aana Chiefs
    36 Malu FALANIKO – Vaimauga Taula Eels
    37 Johnny SAMUELU- Aana Chiefs
    38 Joe PEREZ – Faleata Knights



  • Manu Samoa head coach Steve Jackson has named a 33-man squad for the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup, three months ahead of the World Cup in Japan.
    
    Jackson conceded that this was not the strongest squad he could have selected for the pre-World Cup tournament, but said all players in the squad will have the opportunity to push their case for the global showpiece event, which kicks off in September.
    
    “There’s obviously some visible people that aren’t named in this Pacific Nations Cup squad which will be available for the World Cup,” he said.
    
    “But it was a decision made by the coaches for us to make sure that when we go to Rugby World Cup we know that we’ve got 40-plus players that can play at international level and will be ready for Rugby World Cup.
    
    The former Blues assistant coach and North Harbour head coach said other players with dual nationality, such as Worcester-bound Blues fullback Melani Nanai and Leicester-bound Crusaders flanker Jordan Taufua, both of whom represented Samoa at U20 level and have spent time training with the All Blacks, remain on the radar for World Cup selection.
    
    “There’s certain players that have to make decisions because they are dual eligibility and we’ve made contact with a few players in regards to that,” Jackson said.
    
    “But we don’t have to name a Rugby World Cup squad until I think it’s September the 3rd so we’ve still got plenty of time for some of the players that we’ve communicated to that we’d like to have them on board.
    



  • @Stargazer said in Pre-RWC test matches:

    33 Belgium TUATAGALOA – Valence Romans (FRANCE), Samatau/Falelatai/Sapapalii

    I was reading that he will lose his French club contract by accepting to play for Samoa. Good work WR!

    Full story here:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/rugby-world-cup/113870008/rugby-world-cup-2019-belgium-tuatagaloa-told-to-choose-between-club-and-country



  • @Bovidae Yeah, the Rugbypass article already has him like this in their list: Belgium Tuatagaloa (unattached)*

    Also from that article:

    Some players were unavailable for the Pacific Nations Cup due to club commitments, while one unnamed player, who has previously represented Samoa at a World Cup, has already ruled himself out of contention.
    
    “To be honest we’ve had one player, to look after his financial security, turn the opportunity down to go to a Rugby World Cup purely because the financial benefit to him is just what he needs to do for him and his family,” Jackson said.
    
    “I can understand that. He’s already been to a World Cup with Manu Samoa and you can only support these players with the decision that they make and it’s an opportunity for someone else to step in and take his opportunity.”
    

    This really shouldn't happen, but that's what you get in competitions without central contracting and where clubs have too much power. The money will be too good to turn down for some players. Obviously not for Belgium Tuatagaloa, but maybe that's because he was playing for a club that has just been promoted to the Pro D2 division. I hope he can earn a contract somewhere else by playing the PNC and RWC. There will always be clubs in need of injury cover.



  • The only way to stop this is to have no professional games during the entire RWC training and games window. Otherwise I can see the clubs point, I wouldn't pay a player who wasn't going to be there - release them, but pay them? No. And I'd prioritse players that will be there. They're businesses, most running at massive losses, and having to pay for a replacement player whilst still paying for someone in a RWC squad? Nope.



  • @Stargazer Tumua Manu surely done enough to warrant selection. Maybe he's looking for an All Blacks call up at some stage?



  • @Machpants said in Pre-RWC test matches:

    The only way to stop this is to have no professional games during the entire RWC training and games window. Otherwise I can see the clubs point, I wouldn't pay a player who wasn't going to be there - release them, but pay them? No.

    The point is that this is a tactic used by all European clubs, not just those in the lower levels. If English/French clubs release their own players for a RWC they should also be compelled to release players from other nations. PI players don't have any leverage.

    WR could use some of their money to compensate the clubs/pay the players instead of providing money for development purposes which are then wasted by the suits.



  • @Bovidae said in Pre-RWC test matches:

    @Machpants said in Pre-RWC test matches:

    The only way to stop this is to have no professional games during the entire RWC training and games window. Otherwise I can see the clubs point, I wouldn't pay a player who wasn't going to be there - release them, but pay them? No.

    The point is that this is a tactic used by all European clubs, not just those in the lower levels. If English/French clubs release their own players for a RWC they should also be compelled to release players from other nations. PI players don't have any leverage.

    WR could use some of their money to compensate the clubs/pay the players instead of providing money for development purposes which are then wasted by the suits.

    They are compelled to release the players, what they are not compelled to do is offer those players contracts/equal contracts. If WR offered compensation it would be good, but that is rugby dev money going to clubs then - it's not 'suits' that waste them, but corrupt national set ups (yay let's make the PM head of RU!). Really stopping all comps during RWC is the only option to stop this. I don't like it but I feel on the clubs side- they can't and won't tear up a contract, but it is part of negotiations, how many games are you likely to be on the field? Same reason makes ex-ABs are so valuable, they are not going to get called up.



  • @Stargazer said in Pre-RWC test matches:

    @Bovidae Yeah, the Rugbypass article already has him like this in their list: Belgium Tuatagaloa (unattached)*

    Also from that article:

    Some players were unavailable for the Pacific Nations Cup due to club commitments, while one unnamed player, who has previously represented Samoa at a World Cup, has already ruled himself out of contention.
    
    “To be honest we’ve had one player, to look after his financial security, turn the opportunity down to go to a Rugby World Cup purely because the financial benefit to him is just what he needs to do for him and his family,” Jackson said.
    
    “I can understand that. He’s already been to a World Cup with Manu Samoa and you can only support these players with the decision that they make and it’s an opportunity for someone else to step in and take his opportunity.”
    

    This really shouldn't happen, but that's what you get in competitions without central contracting and where clubs have too much power. The money will be too good to turn down for some players. Obviously not for Belgium Tuatagaloa, but maybe that's because he was playing for a club that has just been promoted to the Pro D2 division. I hope he can earn a contract somewhere else by playing the PNC and RWC. There will always be clubs in need of injury cover.

    It also happens in competitions with central contracting though. Tumua Manu & Melani Nanai won't be going to the world cup this year. Because economic conditions make it more desirable for them to sit it out and not pin their colours to a non-black mast (yet, maybe ever). Or Sowakula, or phantom capped Pauliasi Manu etc.

    Central contracting steals their youth. Nod, nod, wink, wink attitudes to international release from European clubs steals their experience.

    But if a national sporting team is a reflection of the national character and and influences. Then Samoa seem pretty accurate reflection. Pressure to provide to the church, village, family outweighs lesser paid international sporting representation.

    However, dont think this means i think nothing can or should be done. I liked Nicholls suggestion in the media a few days ago re: WR directly paying player tournament appearance fee . It could address part of one side of the equation (the attractiveness of making yourself available).



  • Tonga name squad for the Pacific Nations Cup:

    FORWARDS
    Paea Fa’anunu (Castres, FR),
    Siegfried Fisi’ihoi (Stade Francais, FR),
    Toma Taufa (Bayonne, FR),
    Paul Ngauamo (Agen, FR),
    Elvis Taione (Exeter Chiefs, UK),
    Sefo Sakalia (Asia Pacific Dragons, SG),
    Ma’afu Fia (Ospreys, UK),
    Siua Halanukonuka (Glasgow Warriors, UK),
    Ben Tameifuna (Racing 92),
    Leva Fifita (Grenoble, FR),
    Onehunga Havili (Exeter Chiefs, UK),
    Sam Lousi (Hurricanes, NZ),
    Steve Mafi (Castres, FR),
    Zane Kapeli (Bay of Plenty, NZ),
    Fotu Lokotui (Kagifa Samoa, WS),
    Nasi Manu (Benetton Treviso, IT),
    Sione Vailanu (Saracens, UK),
    Ma’ama Vaipulu (Castres, FR)

    BACKS
    Sami Fisilau (Auckland Marist, NZ),
    Leon Fukofuka (Kagifa Samoa, WS),
    Tane Takulua (Newcastle Falcons, UK),
    Otumaka Mausia (Auckland, NZ),
    Siale Piutau (Bristol Bears, UK),
    Nafi Tuitavake (Northampton Saints, UK),
    Viliami Lolohea (Papatoetoe, NZ),
    Afa Pakalani (Eastwood, AU),
    Cooper Vuna (Bath, UK),
    Tevita Halaifonua (Coventry, UK),
    Fetuli Paea (Tasman, NZ)

    Awesome to see Nasi Manu back in the squad after his battle with cancer!



  • @Stargazer 18/11 split?



  • @Stargazer Nasi Manu how good great to see he has overcome some things all power to him.





  • @dogmeat said in Pre-RWC test matches:

    @Stargazer 18/11 split?

    And many of those 11 unknown club rugby players.



  • Japanese squad for the Pacific Nations Cup

    43cdd7ea-bcce-495f-a775-5e1570e628a2-image.png

    1866c1eb-636a-4d68-99e1-80878c1df983-image.png

    https://www.rugby-japan.jp/news/2019/07/17/50036



  • @Stargazer Can you hunt out Stephen Jones' comments on this squad please. Will be interesting to see if they have included any interpreters in their official backroom staff.



  • @Higgins Haha, I avoid Jones like the plague. They have actually included an interpreter in their staff!



  • @Stargazer Not unexpected given at least 13 seem to have non Japanese names



  • Ah, Van Der Walt, who may be the shortest international lock going around. He makes James Blackwell look tall.



  • Very odd indeed. I don't understand why the Japanese chased him as what they need is one or two tall locks.



  • @Bovidae said in Pre-RWC test matches:

    Ah, Van Der Walt, who may be the shortest international lock going around. He makes James Blackwell look tall.

    He's shorter than quite a few props. How embarrassing.



  • Tongan squad to take on Samoa on Saturday, 27 July.

    1 Paea Fa’anunu (Leimatu’a, Vava’u, & Tuanekivale)
    2 Elvis Taione (Kolomotu’a & Ha’akio)
    3 Ben Tameifuna (Pea)
    4 Leva Fifita (Neiafu)
    5 Sam Louisi* (Kanokupolu & Leimatu’a)
    6 Onehunga Havili (Ha’ateiho)
    7 Maama Vaipulu (Folaha)
    8 Nasi Manu (C) (Vaini & Ha’ateiho)
    9 Samisoni Fisilau (Longolongo & Leimatu’a)
    10 James Faiva* (Ngele’ia & Kotu)
    11 Viliami Lolohea (Navutoka & Niuatoputapu)
    12 Cooper Vuna (Houma)
    13 Malietoa Hingano* (Makaunga, Talafo’ou, Nukuleka, Holonga & Utuali’i)
    14 Tevita Halaifonua (Fatumu & Houma)
    15 Nafi Tu’itavake (Kolomotu’a & Malapo)

    16 Sefo Sakalia (Ma’ufanga & Nomuka)
    17 Toma Taufa* (Angaha & Esia)
    18 Ma’afu Fia (Ha’avakatolo, Holonga & Olo’ua)
    19 Zane Kapeli (Taunga, Otungake, & Neiafu)
    20 Fotu Lokotui (Longoteme & Mo’unga’one)
    21 Sione Vailanu (Kolovai)
    22 Leon Fukofuka (Ha’avakatolo, Fo’ui & Ha’alalo)
    23 ‘Otumaka Mausia* (Ha’ateiho & Longomapu)

    Being named captain in the absence of regular leaders Siale Piutau and Sonatane Takulua, the inspirational number 8 headlines a solid group of new and returning faces coach Toutai Kefu has chosen to take on Samoa this coming weekend.

    Alongside Manu, five players are in line to make their international debuts; Sam Lousi, James Faiva, Malietoa Hingano, Toma Taufa and Otumaka Mausia. In addition to the new faces the Ikale Tahi team will also welcome back experienced campaigners Maama Vaipulu, Cooper Vuna and Tevita Halaifonua for the clash against Samoa.

    With so many debutants named, coach Toutai Kefu suggested he was still casting a keen eye for spots he was looking to fill for the Rugby World Cup, during this upcoming Pacific Nations Cup campaign.

    We’re still looking at a few young guys, and its still quite open, in terms of vying for World Cup spots.

    https://truoffical.com/manu-named-to-lead-tonga-completing-remarkable-comeback/



  • Manu Samoa squad to take on Tonga:

    1 Logovi’i Mulipola 2. Motu Matu’u (C) 3. Paul Alo Emile 4.Teofilo Paulo 5. Kane Leaupepe 6. Chris Vui 7. TJ Ioane 8. Afaesetiti Amosa 9. Auvasa Falealii 10. Ulupano Seutini 11. Belgium Tuatagaloa 12. Reynold Lee-Lo 13. Alapati Leiua 14. Johnny Vaili 15. Ahsee Tuala

    Reserves: 16. Ray Niuia 17. Jordan Lay 18. Alofa’aga Sao 19. Vaito’asa Senio Toleafoa 20. Alamanda Motuga 21. Dwayne Polataivao 22. AJ Alatimu 23. JJ Taulagi



  • Japan's team to play Fiji

    98c2fa83-fa97-4d9f-ae2f-27d590d8c601-image.png



  • Fiji squad to play Japan:

    1 Eroni Mawi, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Manasa Saulo, 4 Albert Tuisue, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 7 Semi Kunatani, 8 Viliame Mata, 9 Frank Lomani, 10 Ben Volavola, 11 Patrick Osbourne, 12 Levani Botia, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 14 Filipo Nakosi, 15 Alivereti Veitokani

    Reserves
    16 Mesulame Dolokoto, 17. Peni Ravai, 18. Lee-Roy Atalifo, 19. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 20. Peceli Yato, 21. Henry Seniloli, 22. Jale Vatubua, 23. Josh Matavesi



  • In NZ, Pacific Nations Cup games will be broadcast by Sky.

    The World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup matches will be broadcast on television live, delayed-live and via dedicated highlights programming in select countries. Details of the licensed broadcasters by country are below - please check local listings for confirmation of timings and please check back to this page for updates as the content of the table below is subject to change.
    
    For fans who live in other countries or territories where broadcast coverage isn’t available, the fixtures are also be streamed live here on the World Rugby website.
    
    Streaming Availability: Live on worldrugby.org/pnc for all other countries.
    
    Broadcast Partners:
    
        TSN (Canada)
        NBC (USA)
        J Sports and NTV (Japan)
        Fiji TV (Fiji)
        Sky New Zealand (New Zealand)
        Samoa TV (Samoa)
    

    https://www.world.rugby/pnc/news/57740?lang=en



  • Just a reminder - for whoever is interested - that you can find all

    • pre-RWC test matches,
    • kick-off times,
    • broadcast details,
    • links to matchday squads, and
    • results

    in this blogpost (to be found via the Silver Fern homepage) :



  • @Stargazer said in Pre-RWC test matches:

    Fiji squad to play Japan:

    1 Eroni Mawi, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Manasa Saulo, 4 Albert Tuisue, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 7 Semi Kunatani, 8 Viliame Mata, 9 Frank Lomani, 10 Ben Volavola, 11 Patrick Osbourne, 12 Levani Botia, 13 Waisea Nayacalevu, 14 Filipo Nakosi, 15 Alivereti Veitokani

    Reserves
    16 Mesulame Dolokoto, 17. Peni Ravai, 18. Lee-Roy Atalifo, 19. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 20. Peceli Yato, 21. Henry Seniloli, 22. Jale Vatubua, 23. Josh Matavesi

    In comparison, here's the team that played the NZM in Suva. So that was close to their first-choice team.

    1: Peni Ravai 2: Sam Matavesi 3: Manasa Saulo 4: Albert Tuise 5: Leone Nakarawa 6: Dominiko Waqaniburotu 7: Semi Kunatani 8: Viliame Mata 9: Frank Lomani 10: Ben Volavola 11: Eroni Sau 12: Lopani Botia 13: Waisea Nayacalevu 14: Josua Tuisova 15: Alvereti Veitokani
    Reserves: Mesulame Dolokoto, Eroni Mawi, Kalivati Tawake, Apisalome Ratuniyaarawa, Nemani Nagusa, Henri Seniloli, Sefanaia Galala, Patrick Osborne



  • @Bovidae Yep, some of the bench players in Suva are now starters and vv, too. Very few new names.



  • USA v Canada
    Infinity Park

    USA: 15 Will Hooley, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Bryce Campbell, 11 Martin Iosefo, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Shaun Davies, 8 Cam Dolan, 7 John Quill, 6 Malon Al-Jiboori, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Ben Landry, 3 Paul Mullen, 2 Dylan Fawsitt, 1 Chance Wenglewski
    Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti, 17 David Ainuu, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Greg Peterson, 20 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Gannon Moore, 23 Madison Hughes

    Canada: 15 Patrick Parfrey, 14 Conor Trainor, 13 Ben LeSage, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Peter Nelson, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Tyler Ardron (c), 7 Matt Heaton, 6 Kyle Baille, 5 Conor Keys, 4 Evan Olmstead, 3 Cole Keith, 2 Benoit Piffero, 1 Hubert Buydens
    Replacements: 16 Andrew Quattrin, 17 Rob Brouwer, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Justin Blanchet, 20 Luke Campbell, 21 Gordon McRorie, 22 Shane O’Leary, 23 Nick Blevins



  • FYI - Tonga v Samoa in Apia is live on Sky sport 3 at 1:50pm today.





  • @Stargazer cool, thanks.



  • Terrible conditions in Apia. The field looks like a swamp; if it keeps on raining, players will be swimming like ducks by the end of the game.



  • Brings back memories of a game I spectated at in Hunterville way back in 1988. Not quite as much surface water on the field in Apia though. Apia Park still barely makes the amateur level when compared to Wellington's Martin Luckie Park for mud heap ratings. It sets a very high benchmark for muddiness.



  • Tonga down to 13 men, geez.



  • Samoa win 25-17. Good game considering the poor conditions. The Samoan 8 Amosa was the best for me. He had a great game off the back of the scrum.



  • Holy mackerill, the Japs are giving a pants down spanking to Fiji 29 - 07 after about 30 minutes and theat score flatters Fiji so dominant Japan is.


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