Pisi drops to the bench for Japan clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Samoa coach Vaeluaga Steve Jackson has responded to his team’s 0-34 defeat by Scotland by making six changes to the starting XV to play Japan on Saturday.
Loosehead prop Jordan Lay, lock Piula Faasalele and fly-half Ulupano Seuteni all make their first starts at RWC 2019, as does hooker Seilala Lam, alongside brother and captain Jack, the number eight, for the game at City of Toyota Stadium.
Also making his first start – and appearance – at the tournament is Ah See Tuala. On the other wing, Ed Fidow starts having been cleared to play following his sending off against Scotland for two yellow-card offences. Fidow scored two tries in Samoa’s 34-9 opening-match victory over Russia.
Tusi Pisi, who has been receiving a lot of attention from the Japanese media having just returned to the country to play his club rugby, drops to the bench.
TJ Ioane and Tim Nanai-Williams are the only survivors from the XV who started against Japan at World Cup 2015.
Samoa: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ah See Tuala, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Ed Fidow, 10 Ulupano Seuteni, 9 Dwayne Polataivao, 8 Jack Lam (captain), 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Chris Vui, 5 Kane Le’aupepe, 4 Piula Faasalel, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Seilala Lam, 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 James Lay, 19 Senio Toleafoa, 20 Josh Tyrell, 21 Pele Cowley, 22 Tusi Pisi, 23 Kieron Fonotia.
Date: Saturday, October 5
Venue: City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota City
Kick-off: 19.30 (10.30 GMT; 00.30 Samoa time Sunday, October 6)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)
In other news: