England v Pacific Islanders
Pacific Islanders get straight to work
November 3, 2008
Saracens scrum half Moses Rauluni breaks the tackle of Joe EL Abd during the EDF Energy Group D Match between Bristol Rugby and Saracens at The Memorial Stadium in Bristol, England on November 1, 2008.
Saracens' Mosese Raulini will skipper the Islanders against England at Twickenham © Getty Images

Saracens scrum-half Mosese Rauluni has been confirmed as captain of the Pacific Islands for their forthcoming Tests against England, France and Italy.

Rauluni, who led Fiji to the quarter-finals of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, will be supported by the dynamic Tongan loose-forward Nili Latu as vice-captain.

The Pacific Islands come together every two years and are embarking on a third tour since 2004 - but they are still chasing a first Test victory. The three island nations boast a rich tradition of hard-hitting and free-running rugby but they only came together as a team in London last night.

The Pacific Islanders are well aware of the task facing them as they prepare to kick of their latest tour against England at Twickenham this weekend. The squad went into camp yesterday and an intensely proud Head Coach Quddus Fielea is promising a strong showing from his side.

"It is a huge task, no doubt about it," he said. "The rugby we play will be simple, we will run, tackle, play direct and go hard at them. We can make our dreams come true if we stick to our game plan."

In a stirring welcoming speech to players and management, Tour Manager Sitiveni Rabuka reminded the squad of where they came from and of the many challenges ahead. "We represent many people but it doesn't matter where we come from. We stand together as Pacific Islanders. Pacific Island nations provided the energy and the spark of the Rugby World Cup in France and we now have the opportunity to build on this tradition."

Fielea also announced that six Test PI veteran Mosese Raulini would captain the team with Nili Latu appointed as vice captain.

There have been a number of changes from the original squad announced in September: Samoan prop Kas Lealamanua has been brought in for Soane Tonga'uiha; Ifereimi Rawaqa has been replaced by Paino Hehea; Epi Taione replaces Isireli Naqelevuki and Filipo Levi was brought in last month for Daniel Leo.

Fiji beat Wales to reach the knock-out stages of the World Cup last autumn and gave South Africa a scare in their quarter-finals, while both Tonga and Samoa proved bruising opponents in England's pool.

The full squad is:

Kas Lealamanua (Prop - Samoa), Kisi Pulu (Prop - Tonga), Census Johnston (Prop - Samoa), Justin Va'a (Prop - Samoa), Sunia Koto (Hooker - Fiji), Aleki Lutui (Hooker - Tonga), Paino Hehea (Lock - Tonga), Kele Leawere (Lock - Fiji), Hale T-Pole (Lock - Tonga), Filipo Levi (Lock - Samoa), Nili Latu (Flanker - Tonga), Semisi Naevo (Flanker - Fiji), Viliami Vaki (Flanker - Tonga), George Stowers (Flanker - Samoa), Sisa Koyamaibole (No.8 - Fiji), Finau Maka (No.8 - Tonga), Mosese Rauluni (Scrum-half - Fiji), Sililo Martens (Scrum-half - Tonga), Seremaia Bai (Fly-half - Fiji), Pierre Hola (Fly-half - Tonga) Vilimoni Delasau (Wing - Fiji), Sailosi Tagicakibau (Wing - Samoa), Seilala Mapusua (Centre - Samoa), Seru Rabeni (Centre - Fiji), Kameli Ratuvou (Centre - Fiji), Epi Taione (Centre - Tonga), Sereli Bobo (Wing - Fiji), Gavin Williams (Fullback - Samoa)

© Scrum.com

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