Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Tonga v United States in Esher (Churchill Cup, Pool A)

Venue: Moseley Road


Tonga begins its 2011 Rugby World Cup preparations when they meet the USA in the Churchill Cup. This is Tonga’s first appearance in the Churchill Cup. They have been able to call upon a number of foreign-based players but a number are still missing. Tonga will also have the Pacific nations Cup, played in Fiji in July, to prepare.

USA coach Eddie O’Sullivan has made wholesale changes to the lineup that was crushed by the England Saxons in their first up encounter in the Cup. Things won’t get any easier as the hard-hitting Tongans will be out to impress and build confidence leading into the World Cup Finals.

Previous Encounters
12.09.2007 Tonga 25-15 in Montpellier (World Cup, Pool A)
08.07.2000 Tonga 29-6 in Nuku’alofa (Pacific Rim)
15.05.1999 USA 30-10 in San Francisco (Epson Cup-Pacific Rim)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Tonga 14th, United States 17th

IRB Ranking Points
USA 67.69, Tonga 67.35

Prediction: Tonga by 10 points



United States
15 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby) Age 24, 4 tests
14 Colin Hawley (Olympic Club) ?, 1
13 Paul Emerick (Life University) 31, 39
12 Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins) 24, 7
11 Kevin Swiryn (Agen, France) 26, 8
10 Valanese Malifa (Glendale) 25, 9
9 Timothy Usasz (Nottingham RFC, England) 27, 10
8 Nicholas Johnson (Unattached) 21, 10
7 Todd Clever, Capt. (Suntory Sungoliath, Japan) 28, 32
6 Inaki Basauri (L' Aquila, Italy) 26, 8
5 Scott Lavalla (Unattached) 22, 2
4 Louis Stanfill (Mogliano) 27, 21
3 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England) 23, 8
2 C. Biller Christopher Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate) 25, 8
1 Matekitonga Moeakiola (Park City Haggis) 33, 20
16 Philip Thiel (Life University) 26, 5
17 E.Fry Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks) New cap
18 John van der Giessen (Utah Warriors) 29, 14
19 Patrick Danahy (Life University) 26, 2
20 Michael Petri (New York Athletic Club) 26, 17
21 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore) New cap
22 Troy Hall (New York Athletic Club) New cap

Head Coach: Eddie O’Sullivan


15 Matea Malupo (Marist) Aged 22, 2 tests (last in 2009)
14 Viliami Helu (Roma Olimpic, Italy) 25, 2
13 Sukanaivalu Hufanga (Limoges, France) 29, 17 (last in 2009)
12 Etueni Siua (Marist) ?, 2
11 Viliami Iongi (Canberra, Australia) New cap
10 Kurt Morath (Souths RFC, Australia) 26, 4
9 Soane Havea (Marist) 29, 25
8 Viliami Ma'afu (Mitsubishi, Japan) New cap
7 Pepa Koloamatangi (Counties Manukau, New Zealand) New cap
6 Pasuka Mapakaitolo Kobelco Steelers, Japan) 31, 2 (last in 2009)
5 Emosi Kauhenga (Ricoh Black Rams, Japan) 30, 9 (last in 2009)
4 Sione Timani (Carmarthen Quins, Wales) 26, 2 (last in 2009)
3 Kisi Pulu, Captain (Perpignan, France) 33, 22 (last in 2009)
2 Ilaisa Ma'asi (Counties Manukau, New Zealand) 29, 3 (last in 2009)
1 Tonga Lea'aetoa (Bayonne, France) 34, 20 (last in 2008)
16 Atonio Halangahu (Randwick RFC, Australia) New cap
17 Ofa Fainga'anuku (Eastern Suburbs RFC, Australia) New cap
18 Joshua Afu (Newcastle Falcons, England) 24, 6 (last in 2009)
19 Paula Kaho (Souths RFC, Australia) New cap
20 Daniel Morath (North Harbour, New Zealand) 30, 2
21 Edward Paea (East RFC, Australia) New cap
22 Silivenusi Taumoepeau (Daito Bunka, Japan) New cap

Head Coach: Isitolo Maka

Adapted from

Only five players appeared for Tonga in 2010-The Morath brothers, Havea and Siua.

Well-known players last known with overseas clubs not selected/not available/injured but possibly available for World Cup?

Soane Tonga'uiha (prop)
Kelekolio Paino Hehea (lock)
Christopher Hala’ufia (lock)
‘Aleki Lutui (hooker)
Hale T. Pole (flanker)
Nili Latu (flanker, 2007 World Cup captain)
Epeli Taione (centre)
Hudson Tonga’i’uiha (centre)
Vungakoto Lilo (fullback)
Seti Kiole (wing)
Pierre Hola (fly half)
Semesi Telefoni (prop)
Samiu Vahafolau (No.8)
Ailipate Fatafehi (wing)
Joseph Vaka (centre or wing)
Mani Vakaloa (wing)
Toma Toke (prop)
Opeti Fonua (No.8)
Peni Fakalelu (prop)
Alaska Taufa (wing)
Manu 'Ahota'e'iloa (wing or centre)
William Helu (wing)
Saia Fekitoa (centre)
Andrew Mailei (centre)
Ailipate Fatafehi (centre)
Samisoni Fisilau (halfback)
Sione Kalamafoni (No.8)
Sitiveni Mafi (lock)

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