With five players, including the right pillar of Racing 92 Ben Tameifuna, the Top 14 will be well represented in the workforce of Tonga, France's future opponent at the Rugby World Cup, unveiled Monday.
Six players in France have been selected at the "Ikale Tahi", which will face the Blues on October 6 in Kumamoto (Japan). Including a single three-quarters, the center Malietoa Hingano, who joined Bayonne after two failures at Clermont and Stade Français.
Among the 5 "big", the best known are Tameifuna, the imposing (134 kg for 1.82 m) pillar Racing, and Mamaa Vaipulu, champion of France 2018 with Castres. Pillar Siegried Fisiihoi, who started from Stade Français for Pau, Agen hooker Paula Ngauamo and second-row Leva Fifita from Grenoble, the only one from Pro D2, complete this list.
In addition to France, Tonga will have to win two games between Argentina, the United States and England to hope for the first time to reach the quarter-finals.
Forwards (18): Siegried Fisiihoi (Pau / FRA), Vunipola Fifita (Brumbies / AUS), Latu Talakai (Eastwood / AUS), Paula Ngauamo (Agen / FRA), Sosefo Sakalia (Bucharest / ROM), Siula Maile (Shirley / NZL), Siua Halanukonuka (Glasgow / SCO), Ma'afu Fia (Ospreys / WAL), Ben Tameifuna (Racing 92 / FRA), Sam Lousi (Scarlets / WAL), Leva Fifita (Grenoble / D2), Steve Mafi (London) Irish / ENG), Sione Kalamafoni (Leicester / ENG), Mamaa Vaipulu (Castres / FRA), Fotu Lokotui (Counties Manukau / NZL), Zane Kapeli (Bay of Plenty / NZL), Dan Faleafa (Coventry / ENG / D2), Nasi Manu (Benetton Treviso / ITA)
Backs (13): Sonatane Takulua (Newcastle / ENG / D2), Leon Fukofuka (Auckland / NZL), Samisoni Fisilau (no club), Kurt Morath (Doncaster / ENG / D2), James Faiva (El Salvador / ESP), Siale Piutau (Bristol / ENG), Malietoa Hingano (Bayonne / FRA), Nafi Tuitavake (no club), Atieli Pakalani (Eastwood / AUS), David Halaifonua (Coventry / ENG / D2), Viliami Lolohea (no club), Cooper Vuna ( Newcastle / ENG / D2), Telusa Veainu (Leicester / ENG)
© 2019 AFP