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A Combined Pacific Islanders XV

The Pacific Islanders Test team played from 2004 to 2008 with players from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga making up the squad while Niue and the Cook Islands were also represented during the 2004 tour of New Zealand and Australia. 

The union was disbanded in 2009 due to financial reasons, but what if the team was reformed today? Just how competitive would they be?

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Back three: Nemani Nadolo, Telusa Veainu, Josua Tuisova

The backline is the real strength of this team. On each wing we have two Fijian wrecking balls in Josua Tuisova and Nemani Nadolo. 

Both huge men, but deceptively fast, and with footwork and footballing skills to match. At fullback is Leicester livewire Telusa Veainu. Currently out of action, Leicester supporters are missing him big time.

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Centres: Tim Nanai-Williams, Rey Lee-Lo

An all-Samoan affair in the centres. One of the most talented players in the world, Tim Nanai-Williams could play anywhere in this backline, but here he is playing outside Cardiff centre Rey Lee-Lo. 

Not the biggest centre pairing but the skilful Samoans should make up for that with their playmaking.

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Halfbacks: Nikola Matawalu, Ben Volavola

An exciting Fijian halfback pairing. Glasgow cult hero Matawalu pairs up with Bordeaux fly-half Volavola. 

One of the most exciting 9s in the world, Matawalu can spark an attack from anywhere and has an understanding with Volavola from their international days with Fiji. 

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Backrow: Levani Botia, Jack Lam, Akapusi Qera

Fiji captain Qera moves to the back of the scrum to accommodate Lam and Botia. A centre internationally, Botia will bash from the backrow in this XV, as he does for La Rochelle. 

Cousin of Samoan legend Pat, Jack Lam will pack down on the openside flank.

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Second Row: Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa

An all-Fijian engine room; the all-action Leone Nakarawa is partnered by Worcester lock Cavubati. 

Nakarawa will provide a great ball-carrying and offloading game, with Cavubati bringing the more typical lock performance. 

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Front Row: Campese Ma’afu, Elvis Taione, Siua Halanukonuka

An ever-present in the Fiji front row, Ma’afu will pack down alongside veteran Exeter hooker Taione. 

Rounding out the front row is Glasgow’s big Tongan tighthead Siua Halanukonuka.

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The Pacific Islanders XV:

It’s unlikely to ever happen again but this is a strong team. One of the most exciting backlines in the world, they could compete with anyone in the world. They may be lacking a bit in the front row, but they would still be extremely strong.

  1. Campese Ma’afu (Fiji)

  2. Elvis Taione (Tonga)

  3. Siua Halanukonuka (Tonga)

  4. Tevita Cavubati (Fiji)

  5. Leone Nakarawa (Fiji)

  6. Levani Botia (Fiji)

  7. Jack Lam (Samoa)

  8. Akapusi Qera (Fiji)

  9. Nikola Matawalu (Fiji)

  10. Ben Volavola (Fiji)

  11. Nemani Nadolo (Fiji)

  12. Rey Lee-Lo (Samoa)

  13. Tim Nanai-Williams (Samoa)

  14. Josua Tuisova ( FIji)

  15. Telusa Veainu (Tonga)

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.