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Tongan coach 'axes' his brother

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 00:00

Tonga coach Isitolo Maka Monday left his brother and team captain Finau out of the team to face Japan as he announced eight changes for their World Cup Pool A game in Whangarei on Wednesday.

Hooker Aleki Lutui replaced Maka as captain, becoming the eighth player to lead Tonga in a World Cup match.

Team officials could not immediately be reached to confirm whether Maka, who played in Tonga's defeats to New Zealand and Canada, was injured.

He was reportedly battling an ankle problem before the start of the tournament.

Tonga: 15 Vungakoto Lilo, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Alipate Fatafehi, 11 Sukanaivalu Hufanga, 10 Kurt Morath, 9 Taniela Moa, 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Sione Vaiomo'unga, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Paino Hehea, 4 Tukulua Lokotui, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Aleki Lutui (captain), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Aloisio Ma'asi, 17 Alisona Taumalolo, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Joseph Tu'ineau, 20 Samiu Vahafolau, 21 Samisoni Fisilau, 22 Viliame Iongi.

Date: Wednesday, September 21
Venue: Northland Events Centre, Whangarei
Kick-off: 19.30 (07.30 GMT)
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Stuart Terheege (England)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)

AFP

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