Tonga head coach Toutai Kefu has named his match-day 23 to face South Africa in Stade de Marseille on Sunday 1 October, with Semisi Paea starting at number eight in place of the suspended Vaea Fifita, following his four-match ban.  There are also two changes on the wings, with Anzelo Tuitavuki coming in for his Rugby World Cup debut on the left flank and Fine Inisi starting on the right.

1 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi
2 Paula Ngauamo
3 Ben Tameifuna (c)
4 Halaleva Fifita
5 Sam Lousi
6 Tanginoa Halaifonua
7 Sione Talitui
8 Semisi Paea
9 Augustine Pulu
10 William Havili
11 Anzelo Tuitavuki
12 Pita Ahki
13 Malakai Fekitoa
14 Fine Inisi
15 Salesi Piutau

16 Sam Moli 
17 Tau Koloamatangi
18 Sosefo Apikotoa
19 Adam Coleman
20 Sione Vailanu
21 Sonatane Takulua
22 Patrick Pellegrini
23 Afusipa Taumoepeau

  • Semisi Paea steps into the breach at number eight, following Vaea Fifita’s four-game suspension, in a Tonga starting XV showing three changes to the one beaten by Scotland last week.
  • Paea packs down in the back row with blindside Tanginoa Halaifonua and openside Sione Havili Talitui, who has made the second most tackles in this tournament (37) behind Wales’ Jac Morgan (44).
  • The two other changes come on the wings with Anzelo Tuitavuki making his RWC debut on the left flank, with Afusipa Taumoepeau dropping to the bench, and Fine Inisi coming into the side on the right for Solomone Kata, who drops out of the match-day 23 altogether.
  • The front-row trinity of loose-head Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, hooker Paula Ngauamo and tight-head and captain Ben Tameifuna remains intact for the third match in a row. Between them, they have made 15 career RWC appearances.
  • Leva Fifita and Sam Lousi’s second-partnership is given another chance, despite a malfunctioning lineout, while Augustine Pulu and William Havili combine at half-back for the third match in a row.
  • Havili has been successful from all seven of his place-kick attempts and is just as comfortably kicking from the right and left-hand side of the pitch with those attempts split 4-3. Only Italy’s Tommaso Allan (13) and Japan’s Rikiya Matsuda (10) have kicked more kicks with a 100% record.