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Rugby News

Tonga include Pakalani to face Barbarians

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A week after making his club debut in the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Welford Road, Leicester Tigers full-back Afa Pakalani has been named in the Tonga team to face the Barbarians at Thomond Park in Limerick.

It will be a third appearance for the Pacific Isles nation for Pakalani, who moved to Leicester after playing for Greater Sydney Rams and the Waratahs in Australia.

Fellow Tigers Sione Kalamafoni, Valentino Mapapalangi and Telusa Veainu have also linked up with the Tongan squad but have not been named for the historic showdown at the home of Munster Rugby.

Former Tigers forward Steve Mafi is vice-captain of the side and will line up opposite a former colleague in Geoff Paling who will captain the famous invitational side coached by former Wallabies boss Robbie Deans.

The fixture is one of two in a historic evening for rugby, with the first-ever outing for the Barbarians Women’s Team taking place at 4.45pm before the men’s clash with Tonga kicks off at 7.30pm.

Both games are being broadcast live via Pundit Arena at www.punditarena.com/tv

Tonga: 15 A Pakalani, 14 T Halaifonua, 13 N Tu'itavake, 12 T Taufu’i, 11 C Vuna, 10 K Hala, 9 S Takulua; 1 P Fa'anunu, 2 S Lea, 3 B Tameifuna, 4 H Fifita, 5 S Mafi, 6 D Faleafa, 7 F.Lokotui, 8 M Vaipulu

Replacements: 16 M.Ngauamo, 17 L.Talakai, 18 Aulika, 19 O.Havili, 20 S.Vailanu, 21 Tu'umoto'oa, 22 Latu, 23 Paea