8 Nov 2014

Sport:Pacific rugby teams in Europe for tours

11:15 am on 8 November 2014

Pacific rugby teams kick off their northern tour this weekend with the big three doing battle in Europe.

Tonga plays Georgie in Tbilisi, Samoa take on Italy in Ascoli and Fiji meet France in Marseille.

Koro Vaka'uta looks at the games.

"Tonga's Ikale Tahi, with the assistance of world cup winning coach Jake White who is playing the role of technical advisor on their tour, have had a mixed build up with former All Black training camp member and chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna first making himself available and then not. The Tongans still believe they have depth in their tight five but they will need it to overcome a formidable Georgian pack which beat Samoa 16-15 last year. The Samoans too have had their problems with prop Albert Anae's suspension causing them to call up some late reinforcements but they have named a relatively experienced lineup to take on the Azurri, led by David Lemi in the backs and Jack Lam in the forwards. The Flying Fijians received a boost ahead of their test when Crusaders flyer Nemani Nadolo proved himself fit enough to take his place on the bench. This will balance the loss of Clermont wing Napoliani Nalaga who ruled himself out of the tour for personal reasons."