Moa to lead Tongan charge
Moa to lead Tongan chargeSHARE
Scrumhalf Taniela Moa will skipper Tonga in their crucial clash with Italy in Brescia on Saturday.
Tonga are the first of Italy's opponents in the November Tests, which will see the Azzurri take on New Zealand on November 17 and Australia a week later.
Mana made his 23-man squad selection following a three-day training camp which involved a total of 33 players in Gruissan, France.
He then whittled that number down to 15 for the Italy test at the Stadio M. Riggamonti.
"The camp gave the coaching staff a chance to work with players that we have not had the chance to previously, as well as the new players called up into the squad," said Mana.
"We tried to concentrate on giving the players the tools, patterns and plays they will need during the tour without overloading them during the two-and-a-half days we had to work with," he added.
Tonga, who sit 12th – one place below Italy – in the IRB world rankings, are currently in Brescia preparing for Saturday's clash.
Tonga: 15 Vungakoto Lilo, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Sukanaivalu Hufanga, 12 Sione Piukala, 11 Viliami Helu, 10 Fangatapu 'Apikotoa, 9 Taniela Moa (captain), 8 Viliami Ma'afu, 7 Sione Vaiomo'unga, 6 Sitiveni Mafi, 5 Tukulua Lokotui, 4 Joe Tu'ineau, 3 Halani 'Aulika, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Alisona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Ilaisa Ma'asi, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Hale T-Pole, 19 Paula Kaho, 20 Samisoni Fisilau, 21 Alipate Fatafehi, 22 Viliame 'longi, 23 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Date: Saturday, November 10
Venue: Stadio M. Riggamonti, Brescia
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)