Friday, November 07, 2008
England gets the Martin Johnson coaching era under way at Twickenham on Saturday with a mouth watering clash against the touring Pacific Islanders team. It will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts, as the combined Fiji, Samoa, and Tongan side comprises of top notch talent who have the ability to turn a game on its head.
While England will be looking to build continuity and combinations ahead of three weekends of massive Test matches, the Pacific Islanders will as always, be out to prove what a force they can be.
Theyve picked a strong side, and with the privilege of having the captains of each of the three nations, theyll have plenty of experience and leadership to call on if the game goes down to the wire.
With experience playing in France and the UK, the Pacific Islanders backline contains a whos who of star performers from both the Guinness Premiership and the Top 14. Names like Delasau, Rabeni, Mapasua, Tagicakibau, and Ratuvou all have the finishing ability to snap up the smallest of chances afforded to them.
The forwards read pretty similarly as theres experience all round. The hard hitting loose trio in particular will be out to intimidate and leave their mark as the side go in search of a historic first win at Twickenham.
One of the features of the match will be pre kick off as well see the fascinating Siva Tau performed as a challenge to the opponents. It comprises of elements of the Fijian Cibi, the Samoan Siva Tau, and the Tongan Sipi Tau.
This short clip illustrates nicely how the three traditional war dances have been combined specifically for the Pacific Islanders a side that will be looking to spring an upset or two over the next few weeks.
Team vs England
15. Kameli Ratuvou (Fiji) 14. Sailosi Tagicakibau (Samoa) 13. Seru Rabeni (Fiji) 12. Seilala Mapusua (Samoa) 11. Vilimoni Delasau (Fiji) 10. Pierre Hola (Tonga) 9. Mosese Raulini (Fiji) 8. Finau Maka (Tonga) 7. Nili Latu (Tonga) 6. Semisi Naevo (Fiji) 5. Kele Leawere (Fiji) 4. Filipo Levi (Samoa) 3. Census Johnston (Samoa) 2. Aleki Lutui (Tonga) 1. Justin Vaa (Samoa)
16. Sunia Koto (Fiji) 17. Kisi Pulu (Tonga) 18. Hale T Pole (Tonga) 19. George Stowers (Samoa) 20. Sililo Martens (Tonga) 21. Seremaia Bai (Fiji) 22. Epi Taione (Tonga)