Vaovasamanaia Makes Nine Changes to Manu Samoa’s Starting Lineup to Face Flying Fijians

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Manu Samoa Head Coach Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua has named his side to take on the Flying Fijians this Saturday at Apia Park.

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Mapusua has made a total of 9 changes from the starting lineup that secured a 24-22 win over Japan last weekend.

In the forwards, Jordan Lay and Paul Alo-Emile retain their spots at loose-head and tight-head props respectively.

Ray Niuia earns a starting role at hooker replacing Luteru Tolai.

The lock pairing changes this week, with Brian Alainu’u’ese moving to the bench and Michael Curry left out of this weeks 23 man team.

Replacing them is former captain Chris Vui, and last weeks standout player Taleni Seu, who is moved from blindside flanker to the lock position.

Filling in at the blindside flanker position is former All Black Steven Luatua. The 32 year old currently plays for the Bristol Bears, and had played 15 test matches for the All Blacks.

Manu Samoa Veteran Jack Lam is slotted into the open-side flanker position taking over from last weeks try scorer, Alamanda Motuga.

Wearing the Number 8 jersey and the captains arm band this Saturday is Fritz Lee.

Lee brings a mountain of experience with him having represented New Zealand at the 7’s format of the game. The 34 year old has also run out for his club Clermont Auvergne 212 times.

Ereatara Enari is promoted from the bench to the starting halfback and Jonathan Taumateine who started at halfback last weekend misses out on the 23.

Manu Samoa 7’s captain Melani Matavao is named on the bench and looks to bring impact when he runs on at halfback.

Christian Leali’iifano retains his spot and will steer the ship at 10.

Winger Tumua Manu, second five-eight Duncan Paia’aua and fullback Danny Toala also keep their starting jerseys.

The new faces in the backline are Stacey Ili and Nigel Ah-Wong. Ili will pair Paia’aua in the midfield with Ah-Wong joining Toala and Manu in the back three.

Two debutants will come off the bench in Sam Malolo and Titi Lamositele.

Malolo plays in the Major League Rugby competition in America. Lamositele is a former USA Eagle having played 32 tests for America.

Others on the bench are power running midfielder from Frazer Tech Hamilton, D’Angelo Leuila and speedster Ed Fidow.

The Flying Fijians are set to arrive on Friday and will be staying at Taumeasina Island Resort.

Manu Samoa vs Fiji will kick off at Apia Park this Saturday 29 July at 3pm.


Brisin Manu Retzlaff-Lima