Tonga stacked with English-based stars
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Record-breaking fly-half Kurt Morath will shoulder Tonga’s hopes against England after coach Toutai Kefu announced a team stacked with English-based players for their World Cup opener.
Doncaster Knight’s Morath, Tonga’s all-time leading scorer with 340 Test points, is one of seven players attached to English sides, also including captain Siale Piutau who is at Bristol
Morath, Piutau, Sanatane Takulua and Sione Kalamafoni are the only survivors of Tonga’s last Rugby World Cup match against New Zealand four years ago.
The Polynesian kingdom are heavy underdogs against 2003 champions England in Sapporo as they attempt to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in eight World Cup campaigns.
— Tonga Rugby Union (@officialTongaRU) September 19, 2019
Tonga: 15 David Halaifonua, 14 Atieli Pakalani, 13 Siale Piutau (captain), 12 Cooper Vuna, 11 Viliami Lolohea, 10 Kurt Morath, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 8 Maama Vaipulu, 7 Zane Kapeli, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Halaleva Fifita, 4 Sam Lousi, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Sosefo Sakalia, 1 Siegfried ‘Fisiihoi
Replacements: 16 Siua Maile, 17 Latu 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Dan Faleafa, 20 Nasi Manu, 21 Leon Fukofuka, 22 James Faiva, 23 Nafi Tu’itavake
Date: Sunday, September 22
Venue: Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
Kick-off: 19.45 (11.45 UK time, 01.45 [Monday September 23] Tonga time, 10.45 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
Only a week to go til our first clash, the work continues.
— Tonga Rugby Union (@officialTongaRU) September 13, 2019