Manu make four changes for Boks clash

11:27 am on 25 September 2015

Samoa have made four changes to their starting team to face South Africa at the Rugby World Cup, with Mike Stanley preferred to veteran playmaker Tusi Pisi as first five eighths.

Stanley only made his Test debut in November, but head coach Stephen Betham said the 25-year-old directed the team well during the Pacific Nations Cup and has proven himself more than capable of stepping up to the first five duties.

Manu Samoa first five Mike Stanley.

Manu Samoa first five Mike Stanley. Photo: AFP

He also slotted a crucial penalty in their victory over the United States last weekend, after Pisi had struggled with the boot.

The other changes are in the forwards, with hooker Motu Matu'u and prop Census Johnston starting in place of Ole Avei and Anthony Perenise.

TJ Ioane will make his World Cup debut on the blindside flank, in place of the injured Maurie Fa'asavalu.

Fa'asavalu and Fa'atoina Autagavaia have been ruled out with calf strains, with George Pisi coming onto the bench, which means the Samoa side could feature three brothers at the same time.

Eight players in the Manu team were involved in Samoa's most recent clash against the Springboks, a 56-23 defeat in Pretoria two years ago, while 10 were involved when the teams squared off at the last World Cup four years ago.

Saturday's clash will be the fifth between Samoa and South Africa at a World Cup.

The Springboks made eight changes to their team, following their shock defeat to Japan last weekend.

Samoa:

1 Sakaria Taulafo

2 Motu Matu'u

3 Census Johnston

4 Teofilo Paulo

5 Iosefa Tekori

6 TJ Ioane

7 Jack Lam

8 Ofisa Treviranus (c)

9 Kahn Fotuali'i

10 Mike Stanley

11 Alesana Tuilagi

12 Rey Lee-Lo

13 Paul Perez

14 Ken Pisi

15 Tim Nanai-Williams

Reserves:

16 Ole Avei

17 Viliamu Afatia

18 Anthony Perenise

19 Faifili Levave

20 Vavae Tuilagi

21 Vavao Afemai

22 Tusi Pisi

23 George Pisi