27 Sep 2011

Sport: Tonga arrive in Wellington ahead of must-win clash

11:45 am on 27 September 2011

Tonga were greeted by a couple of hundred loyal supporters when they arrived in Wellington on Monday, ahead of their must-win Rugby World Cup pool match against France on Saturday.

The 'Ikale Tahi need to win with a bonus point, and ensure the Tri Colours don't get any points, if they're to progress to the quarter finals.

While it's a tall order, coach Isitolo Maka says they take confidence from knowing their fate rests in their own hands.

"Everything, we have to fight for everything now. Nothing to lose - we just want to pay something back to our fans who support us all the way. You know what the French are like, I hope they don't turn up. When they turn up they can beat anyone in the world. We just hope they don't turn up against us."

France have retained Morgan Parra at flyhalf for Saturday's match with coach Marc Lievremont keeping changes to a minimum despite an underwhelming display against the All Blacks.

Hooker William Servat, number eight Raphael Lakafia and winger Alexis Palisson come into the side with Dimitri Szarzewski, Louis Picamoles and Damien Traille making way.

Meanwhile in Monday's only match Wales thumped Namibia 81-7 in New Plymouth to go second in Pool D.