24 Nov 2006

Five changes to Pacific Islanders Rugby Alliance team

11:45 am on 24 November 2006

The Pacific Islanders coach Pat Lam has made five changes four of them in the pack for their historic encounter with Ireland at Lansdowne Road this weekend.

Justin Va'a and Aleki Lutui come in to the front row, while Ma'ama Molitika and Hale T'Pole are named in the back row.

Viliami Vaki misses the game after he was suspended yesterday for three weeks.

Kemili Ratuvou is named on the left wing with Seru Rabeni named in the centre.

As with the Scottish game last week there are five Fijians, five Samoans and five Tongans.

But assistant coach Shane Howarth says the makeup of the team is pure coincidence.

"There's certainly no political motive in it, we're just trying to get what we believe is the best combination out there, and it's quite funny because you see the five Tongans in the forward pack, Samoans are scattered around and we've got most of the Fijians in the backline I guess that sum up the three nations to be honest, but we feel this is the best combination."

Fiji Simon Raiwalui will captain the side. The reserves are Mahonri Schwalger, Taufa'ao Felise, Epi Taione, Aca Ratuva, Junior Poluleuligaga and Seilala Mapasua.