Moana Pasifika Name Strong Team for Rebels Clash in the Tron

On the bench Manu Samoa halfback Melani Matavao and promising young hooker Tomasi Maka, both have a chance to make their Super Rugby and Moana Pasifika debut.

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Moana Pasifika enter Round 3 of DHL Super Rugby Pacific in good spirits after a thrilling and historic win over their Pacific brothers, the Fijian Drua last weekend.

Head Coach Fa’alogo Tana Umaga has made some changes to his side that will face the Melbourne Rebels at FMG Stadium, Waikato on Friday night (NZT).

Samoa is the Home of Taula.

In the backline Pepesana Patafilo rejoins the team at right wing, while Anzelo Tuitavuki gets a start on the left wing.

Sione Havili Talitui will captain Moana Pasifika for a second week at openside flanker and Samiuela Moli earns a starting spot at hooker.

On the bench Manu Samoa halfback Melani Matavao and promising young hooker Tomasi Maka, both have a chance to make their Super Rugby and Moana Pasifika debut.

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Umaga says there will be no shortage of entertaining rugby again this Friday.

“I’m expecting the Rebels to come over here with confidence after a good win over the Force. They play an attractive style of rugby and are always looking to attack with some very classy and powerful players,” Umaga said.

“It should be an exciting game as we like to play the same way.”

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Despite some injuries to key players, Umaga is confident that those selected are capable of doing the job.

“We’ve been together for three, nearly four months now and we believe our culture and relationships are strong. Yet we know that needs to be tested at the next level.”

“We’ll keep working hard to build the culture and relationships here, while also providing the opportunities for our players to showcase their skills and talent.”

Unavailable due to injury/illness: Alamanda Motuga, James Lay, Jonathan Taumateine, Lalomilo Lalomilo, Miracle Faiilagi, Neria Fomai, Ofa Tauatevalu, Sama Malolo, Samuel Slade, Semisi Paea, Solomone Funaki, Suetena Asomua

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