The Pacific Islands 'Lost XV' - Rugby World Cup edition
For years the Pacific Islands have provided the world with some of the best rugby players, but a problem that the nations have faced is keeping hold of their players.
For a number of reasons, the likes Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have seen players leave their shores and represent other countries.
With that in mind, this is the Rugby World Cup squad of Pacific Island players that have been lost to other countries:
1 ISILELI NAKAJIMA (TONGA)
The Tongan-born Kobelco Steelers prop Nakajima went to university in Japan, and eventually made his debut for the Brave Blossoms last year at the age of 29.
2 TOLU LATU (TONGA)
Born in Tonga, but grew up in Australia, the New South Wales Waratahs hooker has become the first choice under Michael Cheika this RWC.
3 TANIELA TUPOU (TONGA)
The ‘Tongan Thor’ was born in Tonga, grew up in New Zealand, but opted to represent Australia, where he displays his devastating power for the Queensland Reds.
4 SÉBASTIEN VAHAAMAHINA (NEW CALEDONIA)
5 UWE HELU (TONGA)
The Sunwolves lock Helu was born in Tonga, raised in New Zealand but went to university in Tokyo, where he eventually became a Japanese citizen in 2016. He was swiftly called up to the Japanese squad by Jamie Joseph that year.
6 ISI NAISARANI (FIJI)
Born and raised in Fiji, the Melbourne Rebels no8 only became eligible to represent the Wallabies in April this year due to a visa-related issue after moving to Australia in 2014. Since then, he has become an integral part of Cheika’s back row over the Rugby Championship and RWC.
7 SHANNON FRIZELL (TONGA)
The All Blacks flanker grew up in Tonga and represented their under-20s in the Junior World Rugby Trophy in 2014. Soon after he moved to New Zealand to play for Tasman and eventually the Highlanders.
8 AMANAKI MAFI (TONGA)
Japan’s bruising no8 originally played for Tonga’s under-20 side, but relocated to Japan to attend Hanazono University almost ten years ago. He was picked up by Eddie Jones in 2014 and has since been one of the main stars of the Brave Blossoms side.
9 WILL GENIA (BORN IN PNG)
The 108-cap veteran grew up in Papua New Guinea, moving to Brisbane at the age of 12, and has since played for the Queensland Reds, Stade Francais, the Melbourne Rebels, the Barbarians, as well as the Wallabies in a glittering career.
10 CHRISTIAN LEALIIFANO (*NZ)
We’ve had to cheat here. While not born on a Pacific Island, the Wallabies flyhalf was born in New Zealand of Samoan descent, but moved to Australia at the age of seven.
11 SEVU REECE (FIJI)
Born in Fiji but educated in Hamilton, New Zealand, there was much anticipation over who the 22-year-old would represent this year after a barnstorming season with the Crusaders. He opted for the All Blacks in July, and made the RWC squad in one of the most competitive positions.
12 MANU TUILAGI (SAMOA)
Part of a legendary dynasty where five of his brothers all played for Samoa, Manu moved to England at the age of 12, as three of his brothers were playing for Leicester Tigers at the time. He has lived in England since then, also becoming a British citizen.
13 TEVITA KURIDRANI (FIJI)
The Wallabies centre was born in Fiji, and is the cousin of recently retired Nemani Nadolo, but moved to Australia as a teenager, where he has gone on to play over 60 games in gold.
14 ALIVERETI RAKA (FIJI)
Having joined Clermont Auvergne’s academy in 2014, the 24-year-old Fijian-born winger qualified for France last December and only made his debut in the RWC warm-ups. But he has already shown a glimpse this tournament of what he will bring to Les Bleus over the coming years.
15 MARIKA KOROIBETE (FIJI)
Although not strictly a fullback, the Melbourne Rebels winger was born in Fiji and represented the island in rugby league. He was scouted as a teenager by the NRL and moved to Australia, where he has since switched codes and been part of the Wallabies for two years.
England’s group decider against France on Saturday has been cancelled due to the approach of Super Typhoon Hagibis in one of the most extraordinary days in 32 years of World Cup history. Statement with World Cup tournament director Alan Gilpin.
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