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Samoa rings changes

Friday, November 03, 2017

Toa Samoa have been forced to make a change to their team to take on Mate Ma'a Tonga in the crucial Pool B clash at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday, with Newcastle Knights back Peter Mata'utia having returned to Australia today with a quad injury.

Cronulla Sharks' Ricky Leutele comes on to the wing for Mata'utia in the Samoan side that is keen to avenge their error-riddled second half against New Zealand in Auckland in round one.

The Tongans have made several changes to their side with the major one being Solomone Kata coming in for fellow Tongan-born centre Konrad Hurrell. David Fusitu'a replaces former Warriors teammate Manu Vatuvai on the wing.

The clash is sure to draw a big crowd in Hamilton as the traditional rivals duel to grab the two points and hope to avoid a clash with most likely Australia in the quarter-finals.

The Australians will provide debuts to Tom Trbojevic (wing) and Reagan Campbell-Gillard (prop) in their starting line-up to take on France in the Friday night clash in Canberra (8pm kick-off). Josh Mansour also returns to the green and gold colours on the other wing and Cooper Cronk has been rested at halfback, with James Maloney taking the number seven jersey.

New Zealand will provide valuable match practice to several squad members, particularly in the backline which takes on a new look, in their clash against Scotland in Christchurch.

Dean Whare replaces the injured Gerard Beale (broken ankle) in the centre, Jason Nightingale and Peta Hiku, and Te Maire Martin comes in at five-eighth and the versatile Elijah Taylor will wear the number nine jersey.

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