The ‘Ikale Tahi team to face the French Barbarians on 10 November in Bordeaux, France, was announced this morning, by the team management at an online press conference, with coach, Totai Kefu, Captain Siale Piutau and team manager Lano Fonua.
The team sees a mixture of new and old, with five players set to play their first game for Tonga. The debuting players are Ma’afu Fia, Sam 'Ulufonua, ‘Otutolu Fahamokioa, Latu Va'eno and Zane Kapeli.
Veteran fullback Lilo Fungavaka returns to the ‘Ikale Tahi lineup, having last played for Tonga at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Flyhalf Kurt Morath continues his role as flyhalf since his return to the ‘Ikale Tahi earlier this year.
What the 'Ikale Tahi aims to achieve from its Northern Hemisphere tour?
Toutai said that if they beat Wales, the 'Ikale Tahi will move up to the top 10 World Rugby Ranking. At the moment Wales ranks No. 3 in the World; and if we will beat Georgia we will maintain our position at No. 12 and Georgia will remain at No. 13.
‘Ikale Tahi Team list
1. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi (Stade Francais)
2. Paula Ngauamo (Agen)
3. Ma’afu Fia (Ospreys)
4. Sam 'Ulufonua (Hawkes Bay)
5. Leva Fifita (Grenoble)
6. Dan Faleafa (Coventry)
7. Fotu Lokotui (Counties Manukau)
8. Sione Vailanu (Saracens)
9. Sonatane Takulua (Newcastle Falcons)
10. Kurt Morath (Doncaster)
11. Daniel Kilioni (Grenoble)
12. Siale Piutau (Bristol)
13. Alaska Taufa (FC Grenoble)
14. Viliami Lolohea (Tasman)
15. Vunga Lilo (US Montauban)
16. Sefo Sakalia (Marist)
17. ‘Otutolu Fahamokioa (Tawa RFC)
18. Ben Tameifuna (Racing 92)
19. Valentino Mapapalangi (Leicester Tigers)
20. Zane Kapeli (Hamilton Marist)
21. Leon Fukofuka (Auckland)
22. Latiume Fosita (Counties Manukau)
23. Latu Va'eno (Taranaki).