Tonga vs Wales Rugby Union on 16th June
Eden Park, Auckland
This will be played as the curtain-raiser to NZ’s clash with Samoa that kicks off right after this one.
This match is part of the much needed preparation for their upcoming Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers verses Samoa on July 1st & Fiji on July 8th.
They will have support of their fans in huge numbers, so will feel at home.
Wales see Samoa the weekend afterwards & will try to regain something after a disappointing 6 Nations campaign in which they finished 5th & suffered unexpected losses to Scotland & France.
The Welsh have named 8 uncapped players in the matchday 23 with 3 of them in the starting lineup. It includes Scarlets winger Steffan Evans who has finished top try-scorer in the PRO12 this season.
In a competitive fixture, Tonga has never beaten Wales. Nonetheless, they have only met 2 times in Tonga with Wales normally enjoying the home advantage.
Tonga will be much better. The players are plying their trade in big leagues in Europe and they slowly moving above the minnow’s title.
It will mostly be a gripping game tactically as Wales are set to employ a power-based forward game.
Here, Tonga should play an expansive game & focus on their offloading & good handling as they try to build continuity on attack.
Siale Piutau is Tonga captain & he plies his trade with Bristol in the Premiership.
He will collide on course with Scott Williams of Scarlets with both players wearing the number 13 jersey for their own sides.
Piutau carries hard & is a reliable defender.
Williams, aged just 26 has already won 46 caps for Wales & has established himself as 1 of the 1st names on the team sheet in the Welsh side.
- Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 12 caps)
- Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues, 3 caps)
- Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs, 22 caps)
- Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues, uncapped)
- Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons, 5 caps)
- Aaron Shingler (Scarlets, 8 caps)
- Thomas Young (Wasps, uncapped)
- Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues, 1 cap)
- Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 24 caps)
- Sam Davies (Ospreys, 6 caps)
- Steffan Evans (Scarlets, uncapped)
- Jamie Roberts (c) (Harlequins, 94 caps)
- Scott Williams (Scarlets, 46 caps)
- Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues, 46 caps)
- Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues, 9 caps)
- Ryan Elias (Scarlets, uncapped)
- Wyn Jones (Scarlets, uncapped)
- Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues, uncapped)
- Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, 3 caps)
- Ollie Griffiths (Newport Gwent Dragons, uncapped)
- Aled Davies (Scarlets, uncapped)
- Owen Williams (Gloucester, uncapped)
- Cory Allen (Ospreys, 4 caps)
- Latu Talakai
- Paula Ngauamo
- Ben Tameifuna
- Leva Fifita
- Sitiveni Mafi
- Dan Faleafa
- Nili Latu
- Valentino Mapapalangi
- Sonatane Takulua
- Latiume Fosita
- Cooper Vuna
- Vili Tahitu’a
- Siale Piutau(c)
- Nafi Tu’itavake
- David Halaifonua
- Suliasi Taufalele
- Sila Puafisi
- Phil Kite
- Sione Tau
- Mike Faleafa
- Leon Fukofuka
- Kali Hala
- Kiti Taimani
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