Manu named in Tonga’s match-day squad after beating cancer

Picture: WORLD RUGBY

TOKYO, 20 Sep – Nasi Manu has been named in Tonga’s match-day 23 to face England in Sapporo on Sunday, his first test match since defeating cancer.

Number eight Manu, pictured above, was ruled out of playing throughout 2018, and had to undergo months of chemotherapy.

Elsewhere, Racing Metro front-rower Ben Tameifuna rejoins the starting XV having been rested for Ikale Tahi’s (Sea Eagles’) last clash against New Zealand.

Only four players in this match-day squad were in the 23 against the All Blacks in their last Rugby World Cup match four years ago: Sanatane Takulua, Siale Piutau, Sione Kalamafoni and Kurt Morath, who is Tonga’s all-time leading points scorer with 340.

Announcing the team on Friday, head coach Toutai Kefu said: “We’re really looking forward to this game and the team has been preparing really well for our last two weeks here in Japan.

“England are an excellent team and we know that this going to be a tough challenge, but we wouldn’t have it any other way and the team is looking forward to Sunday.

“We want to inspire the people of Tonga whether they are at home or wherever they are watching around the world with our 2019 campaign. That all starts Sunday and our entire squad will be fighting hard for all of our fans.”

Tonga

1. Siegfried ‘Fisiihoi
2. Sosefo Sakalia
3. Ben Tameifuna
4. Sam Lousi
5. Halaleva Fifita
6. Sione Kalamafoni
7. Zane Kapeli
8. Maama Vaipulu
9. Sonatane Takulua
10. Kurt Morath
11. Viliami Lolohea
12. Cooper Vuna
13. Siale Piutau (capt.)
14. Atieli Pakalani
15. David Halaifonua

16. Siua Maile
17. Latu Talakai
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Dan Faleafa
20. Nasi Manu
21. Leon Fukofuka
22. James Faiva
23. Nafi Tu’itavake

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