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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Tonga World Cup squad packed with big names

Tonga will travel to Workington for their World Cup clash against Scotland with a power-packed side after naming a preliminary train-on squad bursting with big names from the Aussie NRL and Super League.

Wigan’s Epalahame Lauaki and fellow powerhouse Willie Manu, of St Helens, are joined in the 33-strong squad by Hull KR’s Mickey Paea plus Parramatta front-rower Fuifui Moimoi, one of the most familiar faces in the Aussie game.

Former Kiwi international Sika Manu is also named, alongside Willie Tonga and Anthony Tupou, who both have State of Origin and Test experience.

The squad will be skippered by Manly prop Brent Kite and also features six players from New Zealand Warriors.

“Looking at these names, I think we have the most entertaining team playing in west Cumbria,” said Dave Bowden, World Cup representative.

“Getting Tonga is a bit of a coup and you don’t play at that level unless you are an outstanding player. They are mountains and will be really physical.

“I think one of the Island teams will do well and Tonga may be that team. We will never again see such an assembly of capable players from the world’s top clubs. I honestly can’t wait.”

The squad will be revised as teams bow out of the NRL play-offs, adding further quality to the ranks.

Scotland face Tonga at Derwent Park on Tuesday, October 29, and Italy on Sunday, November 3.

Italy’s squad includes 12 NRL player including Terry Campese, the talented Canberra stand-off, and Sydney Roosters’ flying full-back Anthony Minichiello.

Anthony Laffranchi from St Helens, Salford’s Vic Mauro and James Saltonstall of Warrington fly the flag for Super League.

*For World Cup ticket offers call the 24-hour ticket hotline on 08448472013 or visit www.rlwc2013.com

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