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Manu Samoa head coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua has named his side for their first outing of the Pacific Nations Cup in the weekend against the reigning champions from last year the Flying Fijians at ANZ Stadium – Suva.
The side features three debutants in the likes of Harlequins formidable number 8 Mat Luamanu, former Manu Samoa 7s speedster Ed Fidow who now plays with the Bordeaux club in France on the right wing and former Brumbies fly half now a Western Force convert Rodney Iona who will make his debut off the bench.
The Manu Samoa captain Chris Vui was very positive about their preparations despite the short amount of time the team has to assemble.
“For the short amount of time, the boys have been working really hard to form combinations and set new structures for the game plan against Fiji,” said Vui.
“Difficult with the short get together but everyone is doing their part to be there best come game day.”
“They have a dangerous pack but we're up for the challenge. The gameplan is really simple due to the time together, but we have a big defensive mindset to stop the Fijians offloading and stopping them early before they get their heads up and momentum with the ball.”
Mat Luamanu who is one of the 3 debutants this coming Saturday is very humble with the opportunity to play for the Manu.
“Honoured to represent my country. It has been a dream to play for the Manu and so thankful for the opportunity. Obviously as Samoan born in NZ wanting to play for my family and country. I will give it my 120% for us all.”
The Manu Samoa squad to play the Flying Fijians:
1. Logovii Mulipola
2. Motu Matu'u
3. Paul Alo-Emile
4. Josh Tyrell
5. Chris Vui (c)
6. Piula Faasalele
7. Jack Lam
8. Mat Luamanu
9. Melani Matavao
10. Tusi Pisi
11. Sinoti Sinoti
12. Alapati Leiua
13. Rey Lee-Lo
14. Ed Fidow
15. Ah See Tuala
16. Seilala Lam
17. Jordan Lay
18. Viliamu Afatia
19. Joe Tekori
20. TJ Ioane
21. Dwayne Polataivao
22. Rodney Iona
23. Paul Perez (vc).
SOURCE: SAMOA OBSERVER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media