Moana Pasifika travel north to Perth this week where they will face the Western Force at HBF Park on Saturday 11th March.
The squad enter their second week on tour in Australia, having played the Gallagher Chiefs in Melbourne at Super Round. Despite a valiant second half effort from Moana Pasifika, the Gallagher Chiefs came away with a 52-29 win.
The Western Force started their DHL Super Rugby Pacific campaign with a home win against the Rebels, before succumbing to the might of the Queensland Reds at Super Round with a heavy 71-20 loss.
Head Coach Aaron Mauger has made nine changes to the starting line up from last weekend in a decision that was largely injury-forced.
Michael Curry (neck), Samuel Slade (ribs) and Christian Lealiiifano (concussion) are all unavailable for selection this weekend after playing the Gallagher Chiefs in Melbourne last weekend.
A new look starting front row combination of Abraham Pole, Samiuela Moli and Suetena Asomua will run out for Moana Pasifika on Saturday. Counties Manukau lock Alex McRobbie receives his first start for the year and will combine with Southland Stag Mike McKee in the second row.
After an impressive debut match last weekend, Miracle Faiilagi retains his spot at blindside flanker. Lotu Inisi will start at number eight to anchor the scrum and ‘Ikale Tahi loose forward Solomone Funaki will Captain the team from the Number 7 jersey in the absence of Christian Lealiifano.
Ereatara Enari returns to the starting line up with Manu Paea returning to the bench. The experienced halfback will combine with Lincoln McClutchie who features for the first time this year. The pair have played two seasons together at the Hawke’s Bay Magpies in the Bunnings NPC and have great chemistry.
Danny Toala moved up from fullback in to second five and will play inside Fine Inisi in a midfield combination yet to feature for Moana Pasifika.
The wingers remain unchained with Timoci Tavatavanawai on the right and Anzelo Tuitavuki on the left. William Havili will drive the game from fullback.
To the bench, a debut beckons for Manawatū turbos lock Potu Leavasa. Former Western Force midfielder Henry Taefu will also look to provide impact from the pine.
The match will be LIVE on both Sky Sport and PRIME.
Moana Pasifika v Western Force
Saturday 11 March
HBF Park, Perth. Kick off 7:05pm (12:05am NZT, Sunday 12 March)
* Denotes Debut
Players unavailable due to injury: Sekope Kepu (achilles), Jack Lam (ankle), Penitoa Finau (foot), Alamanda Motuga (shoulder), Jonathan Taumateine (hamstring), Michael Curry (neck), Samuel Slade (ribs) & Christian Lealiifano (concussion).See all news