Pisi back to torment Wallabies
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The man who orchestrated one of Australia’s most grim Test rugby defeats will return to haunt them after Tusi Pisi was named Samoa’s flyhalf for Saturday’s Test in Sydney.
The Evergreen Pisi is the only Manu Samoa survivor from the team who stunned a largely second-string Wallabies team 32-23 in 2011.
Not only that, he was a central cog at the Sydney Football Stadium, playing a part in two of their four tries and landing 12 points with the boot.
The Japan-based 37-year-old missed Samoa’s Pacific Nations Cup campaign but is set to be a pivotal figure at the World Cup.
He is one of 10 players in the starting XV who have experience playing in a New Zealand Super Rugby team, with all but Hurricanes lock Kane Leaupepe and Crusaders prop Michael Alaalatoa having since moved on to play in Europe.
There are five past or present Hurricanes, including captain Jack Lam and the accomplished midfield pairing of Alapati Leiua and Rey Lee-Lo.
It will be a Test debut for Alaalatoa, who scored two tries in last week’s win over a New Zealand Heartland amateur team.
Alaalatoa has been denied the chance to pack down against brother and Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa, who is being rested this week.
Samoa: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Belgium Tuatagaloa, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Reynold Lee-Lo, 11 Ed Fidow, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Scott Malolua, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 Jack Lam (captain), 6 TJ Ioane, 5 Kane Leaupepe, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Ray Niuia, 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Logovi’i Mulipola, 19 Josh Tyrell, 20 Seilala Lam, 21 Dwayne Polataivao, 22 AJ Alatimu, 23 Ah See Tuala.
Date: Saturday, September 7.
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, New South Wales
Kick-off: 19.30 (09.30 GMT, 22.30 Samoa time)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Cam Stone (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)