5 Sep 2015

Sport: Romania ideal opposition for 'Ikale Tahi

8:37 am on 5 September 2015

Tonga is hoping to get more than just match practice out of their final Rugby World Cup warm-up match this weekend.

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Photo: World Rugby / Colin Watson

The 'Ikale Tahi take on Romania in Bucharest Sunday morning.

Coach Mana Otai has made nine changes to the starting fifteen, in an effort to give the full squad game-time ahead of the World Cup.

He says Romania is an ideal team to come up against before playing Georgia in two weeks time.

"I still remember very clearly the last time we were here we were [beaten] by one point. This was a prepared and sourced out particular opposition. When looking at Georgia as well they're very very similar - hence the reason why we want to come and test our exactly what we're going to come up against. They're very physical up-front, they've got good set pieces. Out of Pacific Nations Cup we're starting to change perceptions in set piece for Tonga. We're making progress there and we want to put that to the test against a side which is also renowned for it and very similar to Georgia as well."

Profits from ticket sales will be donated to former 'Ikale Tahi flanker Sione Vaiomo'unga, who lives in Romania and is suffering from kidney failure.

He's not entitled to receive a transplant under Romanian health care, however the country's government is working to assist on his behalf.

Vaiomo'unga is also receiving ongoing support from his former club, CSM Baia Marie, and the local Romanian and Tongan communities.

Former Tonga flanker Sione Vaiomo'unga at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Former Tonga flanker Sione Vaiomo'unga at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT