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Tonga pack to average over 19 stone a man against England

By Online Editors
153kg prop Ben Tameifuna

Tonga will field a near one tonne pack against the might of Eddie Jones’ England. Bristol centre Siale Piutau will lead Tonga in Sunday’s World Cup opener against England in Sapporo.

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Piutau is one of seven players in the Pacific Islanders’ starting XV who has experience of playing in England and among four who competed in the Gallagher Premiership last season.

Bath centre Cooper Vuna is present as is Racing 92 prop Ben Tameifuna, who last year weighed in at a colossal 153kg to make him the heaviest player in Test rugby.

The total weight of pack comes in at a 974kg, an average of just under 122kg a man.

Leicester full-back Telusa Veainu and London Irish lock Steve Mafi have been ruled out by respective foot and shoulder problems.

“Eddie Jones prepares his teams really well. This is a massive challenge for us, but we have nothing to lose and I think England are under more pressure than us,” head coach Toutai Kefu said.

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“He’s picked a very strong team, but is there a weak England team? I don’t think there is with this squad.”

Tonga: D Halaifonua; A Pakalani, S Piutau, C Vuna, V Lolohea; K Morath, S Takulua; S Fisiihoi, S Sakalia, B Tameifuna, S Lousi, H Fifita, S Kalamafoni, Z Kapeli, M Vaipulu.

Replacements: S Maile, L Talakai, M Fia, D Faleafa, N Mau, L Fukofuka, J Faiva, N Tu’itavake.

– PA, additional reporting by RugbyPass

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On the eve of the RWC in Japan, England great Neil Back sits down with RugbyPass’ Jim Hamilton to recount his Rugby World Cup Memories.

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