PNC Preview – Japan vs Tonga

PNC Preview – Japan vs Tonga

After upsetting pre-tournament favorites Fiji in Kamaishi, Japan will look to take another step towards the Pacific Nations Cup title when they host Tonga in Osaka on Saturday. Matches between the two sides have been traditionally very competitive but the Brave Blossoms were comprehensive winners in their neutral-venue clash at Toulouse in November 2017.

The Ikale Tahi came up short against Samoa in the Apia mud on Saturday but welcome back five experienced players to the squad this week. Steve Mafi is fit to start in the second row in place of the injured Sam Lousi, while Dan Faleafa comes in on the blindside flank as Sione Vailanu drops to the bench. Fotu Lokotui gets the start at openside and Sefo Sakalia runs out at hooker.

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