Moana Pasifika make three changes for Waratahs clash

The Moana Pasifika have made three changes ahead of their home clash against the NSW Waratahs this Saturday in Super Rugby Pacific.

The match is significant for captain Sekope Kepu as he will play against the team he served for 141 games.

For flyhalf Christian Leali’ifano, he could be etched in to Super Rugby folklore as he is just nine points away from reaching 1,000 Super Rugby points.

Moana Paisifika line up against Waratahs. Picture: Moana Pasifika

The team lost opportunities in the nail biting defeat to the Melbourne Rebels, and coach Aaron Mauger knows this game will be tougher.

The Waratahs pulled a major upset last weekend when they pipped the Crusaders.

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The tight five remains the same with try scorer Abraham Pole at loosehead prop, Ray Niuia at hooker and Captain Sekope Kepu on the tighthead side of the scrum. Samuel Slade and Veikoso Poloniati combine at lock and complete the engine room.

Moana Pasifika during warm up before the match against the Rebels. Picture: – Twitter-Moana Pasifika

A cheek fracture to Alamanda Motuga sees Solomone Funaki elevated to the starting line up. He is complimented by Michael Curry and Henry Time-Stowers in the loose forwards.

There are no changes to the backline from Saturday night’s game at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Ereatara Enari and Christian Leali’ifano have proven to be a formidable combination and retain the 9 and 10 jerseys respectively for another week.

Moana Pasifika at Mount Smart Stadium. Picture: Moana Pasifika

Henry Taefu and Levi Aumua will pair in the midfield with MVP Timoci Tavatavanawai on the left wing and Tima Fainga’anuku on the right wing. Danny Toala rounds out the starting 15.

Alex McRobbie and Jack Lam come on to the bench after recovering from a concussion and knee injury, respectively.

1. Abraham Pole
2. Ray Niuia
3. Sekope Kepu (C)
4. Veikoso Poloniati
5. Samuel Slade
6. Michael Curry
7. Solomone Funaki
8. Henry Time-Stowers
9. Ereatara Enari
10. Christian Leali’ifano (VC)
11. Timoci Tavatavanawai
12. Henry Taefu
13. Levi Aumua
14. Tima Fainga’anuku
15. Danny Toala
16. Luteru Tolai
17. Ezekiel Lindenmuth
18. Joe ‘Apikotoa
19. Alex McRobbie
20. Jack Lam
21. Jonathan Taumateine
22. Lincoln McClutchie
23. Solomone Kata

Unavailable due to injury: Isi Tu’ungafasi, Don Lolo, Lotu Inisi, Anzelo Tuitavuki, Mike McKee, Alamanda Motuga

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