21 Nov 2014

Sport: 'Ikale Tahi team largely unchanged

2:15 pm on 21 November 2014

Tonga rugby coach Mana Otai has made minor changes to his squad for Sunday's clash against Scotland in Kilmarnock.

Latiume Fosita is promoted from the bench to start at first-five, replacing Kurt Morath.

There are two more changes in the reserves with Tomasi Palu to fill the back-up halfback role in place of Taniela Moa and Siale Piutau coming into the side in place of Otulea Katoa.

The 'Ikale Tahi have recorded victories over Georgia and the USA so far this month and are on the verge of an unbeaten Northern tour.

Tonga prevailed when the teams last played in Scotland two years ago but Mana Otai is wary of their fast-improving opponents, who proved too strong for Argentina and pushed the All Blacks close last weekend.

"They're looking to reconcile that part of the ledger and for us [the challenge] I guess is to take this game on its own, for what it is, and that's to look at probably our first time ever to have three wins out of our end of year tour. Also the fact that [if] you do it once: the four minute mile is broken once [then] it can be done again so, looking at our performance and the consistency we have been playing at, I think it is possible and that's a challenge in itself".

Meanwhile Scotland coach Vern Cotter has made four injury-enforced changes, with prop Geoff Cross and number eight Johnnie Beattie coming into the pack, Sean Lamont starts in midfield and Tim Visser is on the wing.

Full squad:

15 Vungakoto Lilo

14 David Halaifonua

13 Siale Piutau

12 Hemani Paea

11 Fetu'u Vainikolo

10 Latiume Fosita

9 Sonatane Takulua

8 Viliami Ma'afu

7 Nili Latu (C)

6 Sione Kalamafoni

5 Joe Tu'ineau

4 Tukulua Lokotui

3 Paea Fa'anunu

2 Aleki Lutui,

1 Tevita Mailau.

16 Elvis Taione

17 Sione Lea

18 Sila Puafisi

19 Lisiate Fa'aoso

20 Hale T Pole

21 Tomasi Palu

22 Kurt Morath

23 Sione Piukala