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Fotuali'i to lead Samoa

Fri, 08 Nov 2013 09:53
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Key players ruled out
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Scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali'i, who is currently plying his trade with English club Northampton Saints, has been chosen to captain Samoa for Saturday's encounter with Ireland in Dublin.

Injuries have ruled out some of Samoa's frontline players, including tour captain David Lemi (shoulder) and Gavin Williams, who led them during the midyear quadrangular tournament in South Africa.

Head coach Stephen Betham has handed the captaincy to Fotuali'i, who has good knowledge of the Irish players having spent two years at the Swansea-based Ospreys.

Other notable absentees are Maurie Fa'asavalu, Daniel Leo and Census Johnston, whose place at tighthead prop has gone to Leicester's Logovi'i Mulipola.

Blindside flank Ofisa Treviranus, who spent a season with Connacht, is the most capped player in the Samoa starting line-up with 25 appearances.

His younger brother Alapati Leiua is set to win his fourth cap on the right wing.

Taranaki's tough-tackling centre Isaia Tu'ifua is standing by to make his debut, while the majority of the Samoan squad play their club rugby in either the English Premiership or French Top 14 - George Pisi, Johnny Leota, Ti'i Paulo and Iosefa Tekori being some of the most recognisable names.

Of the matchday squad from the 10-20 loss to Ireland in Dublin in November 2010, there are only five survivors in this weekend's side - George Pisi, Fotuali'i, prop Sakaria Taulafo, Treviranus and Tekori.

Samoa: 15 Fa'atoina Autagavaia, 14 Alapati Leuia, 13 George Pisi, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Brando Vaaulu, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i (captain), 8 Taiasina Tuifua, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Teofilo Paulo, 4 Fa'atiga Lemalu, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 James Johnston, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Alafoti Faosiliva, 21 Jeremy Sua, 22 Isaia Tuifua, 23 Fautua Otto.

Date: Saturday, November 9
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 17.45 (17.45 GMT; 07.45, Sunday, November 10 Samoa time)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (Italy)

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