Ikale Tahi Tonga

Samoa seal Rugby World Cup qualification over Tonga

The Manu led by 20 points early in the second half but withstood a determined 'Ikale Tahi comeback to prevail 79-28 on aggregate over two legs, following last weekend's 42-13 victory in Auckland.

With their place in France now confirmed, how is coach Seilala Mapusua feeling?

"The first word that comes to mind is relieved, a little bit of satisfaction and a hint of excitement," he said post match.

Manu Samoa taking nothing for granted after Tongan win

The Manu beat Tonga 42-13 in the first of two qualifying matches, with the overall aggregate winner to seal their spot in France in two years time.

Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua's side have a 29 point buffer heading into Saturday's second test against the 'Ikale Tahi in Hamilton but the former Manu midfielder is adamant they won't be taking anything for granted.

Manu Samoa names makes few changes in line-up against Tonga

Head Coach Seilala Mapusua has also made two changes to his starting 15 that took on the Maori All Blacks just last week.

Olajuwon Noa will start at blindside flanker in his debut for the side.

Tietie Tuimauga has retained his starting spot at loosehead prop. 

The other new players are Neela Fomai, Tomasi Alosio, Jonah Aoina, Theo Mcfarlene and Jonathan Taumateine.
The reserve list features Seilala Lam and Ed Fidow finally getting their chance to don the blue jersey after completing their Managed Isolation Quarantine two weeks ago. 

Fiji to unleash Radradra against Tonga

Coach John McKee's starting XV to face Tonga at Eden Park on Saturday is likely to be close to that which runs out against the Wallabies in their pool opener at Sapporo three weeks later.

The team is dominated by European-based professionals and most of them were involved in last November's historic 21-14 upset of France in Paris.

That includes Bordeaux-based outside centre Radradra, who has made slick transition to the 15-man code.

Western Force en route to Tonga ahead of Ikale Tahi clash

The invitational from the Tonga coach Toutai Kefu comes just a week out from the start of the Western Force's National Rugby Championship season.

Western Force coach Tim Sampson says it will be a very special occasion for his team which also features two Tongans.

"Obviously playing a national team is a huge honour for the club and it is something that we are really looking forward to. It doesn't happen often these days where club plays country," Tim Sampson said.