Pacific Challenge tournament 2018. PC - World Rugby

12 March, 2018. Samoa – Coming back from a loss against the Fijian Warriors last week, the Samoa A team has shaken up its lineup, in the hopes of securing its first win for the 2018 Pacific Challenge.

Head coach, Muliagatele Brian Lima, has announced the starting lineup for tomorrow’s match against Tonga A, which includes five changes.

According to the SRU, “Some of the changes include Aukusitino Ulugia who has joined Paul Tua’imalo in the locking category replacing Presley Tufuga. Fa’alele Iosua will start at halfback replacing injured Melani Matavao with Pupi Ah See moving to the bench as his backup counterpart.

“Lucky Fa’asaulele will start on the leftwing replacing Ekenasio Fiso with Mesala Seumalo on the rightwing replacing Jonny Vaili. Another change see Iosefatu Mareko taking on the blindside flanker role from Joseph Fuimaono who will start from the bench.

“Tamahiri Gasolo will make his debut from the bench and looks to exert his best performance come game day.”

The Pacific Challenge is a tournament which the World Rugby organisation says brings together “The best up-and-coming international players from the Pacific Islands…”

These teams are from the Oceania and Asia regions and include the Fiji Warriors, Junior Japan, Samoa A and Tonga A.

Current stats put the Fiji Warriors as the reigning champions, having won the tournament seven times. Samoan teams have won twice, with the Tongans taking the trophy once. Junior Japan came on board in 2011 and have yet to win the title, but in 2017 they finished second.

The tournament runs for three rounds on the 9th, 13th and 17th March. You can watch the match on TV1 Samoa tomorrow at 4:30pm (Samoa time).

Samoa A Starting Line-Up
1. Howard Sililoto
2. Gafa Su’a
3. Donald Brighhouse
4. Aukusitino Ulugia
5. Paul Tua’imalo
6. Mikaele Tapili
7. Iosefatu Mareko
8. Henry Stowers (c)
9. Faalele Iosua
10. D’angelo Leuila (vc)
11. Lucky Faasaulele
12. William Talataina
13. Jay Malielegaoi
14. Mesala Seumalo
15. Ricky Osa

Reserves
16. Noel Sanft
17. Setu Enoka
18. Tuaniu Tuaniu
19. Presley Tufuga
20. Joseph Fuimaono
21. Pupi Ah See
22. Fank Tato
23. Tamahiri Gasolo

For more information on the Pacific Challenge visit the Samoa Rugby Union or the World Rugby website.

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